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IN 1799 








Forsan et hoec olim memmtsse juvabit. VIRGIL, jn. I. 
(Last words of Eleonora Fonseca Pimentel) 










IN writing the following pages the intention of the 
author has been to present to English readers a sketch 
of the men who formed the Neapolitan Republic of 1799, 
together with sufficient outline of their surroundings, and 
of the condition of the kingdom of Naples at the close of 
the eighteenth century, to make their position clear. The 
writer can lay no claim to original research, and has 
merely endeavoured to bring within the knowledge of 
English readers, who have not the means of studying the 
ample Italian literature of this subject, that side of 
the drama of 1799 which English literature has been too 
apt to ignore. This drama has been generally regarded in 
England as a mere background to an episode in the life 
of Nelson ; and when it has been handled at all, has often 
been handled with heat, often with gross unfairness and 
gross ignorance, or at best presented in chips and frag- 
ments which do no justice to the subject, however they 
may serve to illustrate the argument of the moment an 
argument which generally assumes Nelson to be the person 
principally concerned. 

By means of contemporary evidence, letters, diaries, and 
so forth, with which the patient industry and research of 
Italian writers have so amply furnished the present 
generation, the chief actors in those scenes live, move, 
speak, and even think aloud in our presence ; the lights 


and shadows and the colouring stand out before us scarcely 
dimmed by the lapse of a hundred years. 

The writer has endeavoured to make a whole of the 
picture hitherto seen piecemeal both from the English and, 
in less degree, from the Italian side ; and although unable 
to attempt more than a sketch, has striven that as far as 
it goes it may be true to life, so that English readers may 
know not only the four or five apparent disposers of these 
events, round whose lives and characters their interest has 
centred too exclusively, but also the Naples of that day, 
and her chief men, and the real position of those who 
were assumed to be rebels, and suffered to appease 
the terrors and satisfy the blind, brutal vengeance of the 
Court whose policy alone, helped on, alas ! by Englishmen, 
had brought about the whole manifold disaster of 1799. 

The author's hearty acknowledgments are due to the 
Societa di Storia Patria di Napoli for the courtesy with 
which they placed their library at her service ; and also 
to friends who have kindly lent books or taken trouble 
in procuring documents and information. 

October 2, 1901. 

Since the above was written it was decided to illus- 
trate the text with views and portraits, and the writer 
desires to render most cordial thanks to Professor 
Michele Tedesco, of the Regio Istituto di Belle Arti at 
Naples; Professor Vittorio Spinazzola, Director of the 
National Museum of San Martino at Naples ; Professor 
Salinas, Director of the National Museum at Palermo ; 
Professor Ernesto Monaco, of the Royal Agricultural 
College at Portici ; and Avvocato Luigi Fortunato, for 


their kind and very effectual help in procuring photo- 
graphs for the purpose, many of the best of which are 
due to the skill of Signer Fortunato. 

Permission to make and publish a photograph of the 
wax bust of Maria Carolina at Caserta was courteously 
given by the Ministero della Casa Reale at the Quirinal. 
No reproduction of this remarkable portrait has 9 hitherto 
been published. 

August 26, 1902. 




Ferdinand IV. of Naples and I. of the Two Sicilies ; youth and 
bringing up; character Opinion of Philip Hackert, Mrs. 
Piozzi, Helfert Marries Maria Carolina of Austria Letters 
of Ferdinand to his father The Court at San Martino The 
queen ; policy and character ; protects the Freemasons 
Tanucci Paramount influence of the queen ; her preference 
for foreigners Acton Contemporary sketches of Maria 
Carolina Extravagance Character of Acton ; his incapacity, 
ignorance, self-interest 1-21 


The feucjal system Condition of the provinces Naples The 
lazzari Charitable institutions ; they foster beggary and 
idleness Enormous abuses Great over-proportion of 
monks, nuns, and priests The nobility The paglietti ; in- 
fluence on public administration The letterati The queen 
patronises culture Goethe Mario Pagano Filangieri 
Conforti Cirillo Eleonora Fonseca Pimentel . . . 22-39 


Effects in Naples of the French Revolution, especially on the 
attitude of the queen Royal marriages Mesdames de 
France Reaction and persecution Spies Wholesale 
imprisonment Ettore Carafa ; goes to France The Rights 



of Man Naples refuses to receive the ambassador of the 
French Republic A French fleet in the Gulf Characteristic 
action of the queen The supper at Posilipo Results 
Secret societies Carafa ; his arrest State trials Sentences 
of death Execution of De Deo and his companions Arrest 
of Pagano, of Ciaja Preparations for war against France 
Political shuffling 40-64 


War suddenly resolved upon Effect at Naples of the battle of 
Aboukir Lady Hamilton ; antecedents Nelson's hatred of 
the French ; his arrival at Naples ; extravagant rejoicings in 
his honour ; he urges on the war ; perceives the corruption 
in the public service Lady Hamilton's position in public 
affairs Popular feeling Public distress The wretched 
army Mack Marchese di Gallo Nelson adopts the 
Bourbon-Hamilton opinions ; is deceived by the Court 
War The march on Rome Fiasco and flight Advance of 
the French Sentiment in Naples Royal terror Massacres 
Flight to Palermo Caracciolo 65-96 


The abandoned city The regent The eletti ; their efforts to 
keep order The regent frustrates every attempt at defence 
Absolute lack of money Destruction of the fleet, ammuni- 
tion, etc. Public alarm The regent concludes an armistice 
with the French Impossibility of paying the stipulated 
sums Popular anarchy Flight of the regent No hope but 
France Massacre of the Filomarino brothers Character 
of the populace Advance of Championnet Resistance of 
the lazzari Entry of the French Proclamation of the 
Neapolitan Republic . . 97-123 


The Republic Elements of failure Amateur republicans Gulf 
between the cultured classes and the populace Eleonora 
Pimentel and the Monitore Efforts to gain and to instruct 



the populace " Democratisers " The tree of liberty 
Tumults and conflicts Misplaced confidence in France 
Mistakes of the Government Vincenzo Russo Republican- 
ism of Eleonora Pimentel 124-143 


The Monitore and Eleonora Recall of Championnet Mac- 
donald Faitpoult The Court begins to recover Armed 
insurrection in many centres Fra Diavolo Mammone 
Pronio Unreadiness of the republicans Arrival of 
Caracciolo Luisa Sanfelice and the conspiracy of the 
Baccher Ferment among the populace Withdrawal of 
the French The miracle of San Gennaro . . 144-1 65 / y 


Cardinal Ruffo ; his antecedents at Rome ; initiates the Santa 
Fede Description of the fortress of Messina by its 
commandant The Santa Fede on the march Monteleone 
Convicts let loose Catanzaro Cotrone Robbery and 
massacre Executions Royal complaints of Ruffo's leniency 
Helplessness of the Republic Corbara and Mesdames 
de France. 166-188 


Military operations of the Republic Schipani Ettore Carafa 
Destruction of Andria and Tram Carafa's humanity ; retires 
into Pescara 189-204 


The English at Procida Troubridge perceives the Court policy 
Speciale The king's spirits rise as revenge comes within 
reach Ruffo's statesmanlike policy, and resistance to that 
of the Court The queen's prescriptions So-called trials at 
Procida " A jolly fellow " Caracciolo enters into action 205-222 




The Santa Fede according to Baron Helfert Micheroux de- 
scribes the " royalised " provinces Advance on Altamura 
Sack of the city and neighbourhood A republican massacre 
Sciarpa Picerno Tito Libero Serafini . . . 223-240 


Last days of the Republic Suppressed exultation of the 
populace The Gallo-lspana Leisurely philanthropy of the 
Government Tardy remedies and attempts at defence 
Dissolution of the republican forces The 1 3th of June 
Battle of the Maddalena Vigliena Schipani . . . 241-258 


Sack of Naples, and massacre of "jacobins" by the mob 
Popular atrocities The granili Pepe De Lorenzo 
Official maltreatment and robbery Settembrini's recollec- 
tionsStreet scenes Arrest of republican ladies Ruffo 
accused of clemency The queen sides with the mob . 259 275 


Ruffe's situation ; pressure on all sides ; anxiety The capitula- 
tion of the castles Sentiments of Ruffo, Micheroux, the 
Court Colletta in Castel Nuovo Nelson arrives Struggle 
between Nelson and Ruffo Nelson won't hear of any terms 
The Hamiltons Nelson's ignorance The natural view 
of the capitulation The patriots are not to be moved from 
their attitude Bocquet Ruffo's efforts to solve the problem 
Lady Hamilton Sudden change of attitude by Nelson 
Contemporary evidence The republicans evacuate the 
castles under the impression that the capitulation is being 
carried out . 276-299 




Who played the trick ? Hamilton ; his letters and despatch 
Nelson ; his account ; incoherent ; possible construction ; his 
attitude of mind towards the republicans ; his ferocity 
He is dupe of the queen and Lady Hamilton The Court 
policy ; its stupidity Ruffo ; was he deceived ? Flaw in 
his case The queen's ignorance of character Racioppi's 
verdict . ... .... 300-321 


Caracciolo ; trial, sentence, and execution Thurn's report 
Ill-feeling between Thurn and Caracciolo Mazzitelli The 
" Bourbon executioner " ; his " conscience and his honour '' 
Hamilton uneasy English treatment of Caracciolo ; review 
of his action, position, character, his feeling Nelson and 
Lady Hamilton restorers of happiness to all who deserve 
it 3 22 -342 


The executions begin Massa, Manthone, Eleonora Pimentel, 
Serra, Colonna, Natale, Pacifico, Fiani, Genzano, Pagano, 
Cirillo, Ciaja, Pigliacelli The populace The Bianchi . 343-364 


Carafa at Pescara ; capitulation ; treachery ; sent a prisoner to 
Naples ; barbarous treatment ; execution Capitulation of 
Baia Treachery Marchese Mauri Pasquale Battistessa 
Colace and Nelson's edict Trial of Luisa Sanfelice ; re- 
prieve Old Vincenzo Baccher Executien of Luisa 
Sanfelice . 3 6 5-3 8 





Review of the state of the kingdom after the restoration Views 
of Troubridge, Sir Arthur Paget, Major-General Paget 
Reports of provincial inspectors State of the political 
prisoners The Court inexcusable Rewards and pensions 
The lesson unlearned '99 a watchword for new generations 
of patriots 381-397 

APPENDIX 399-419 

INDEX . 421-438 



(From a portrait by George Romney, photogravure.} 

To face page 

FERDINAND IV. DRESSED AS A FISHERMAN. (From a picture at San Martino) 8 




UNDER THE REPUBLIC. (Hanged, December 7, 1799) 3 

DOMENICO CIRILLO. (Hanged, October 129, 1799.) (From a Picture in the 

Museum at San Martino) 38 

MADAME ADELAIDE DE FRANCE. (From a portrait by Nattier in the 

Gallery at Versailles) 42 

MADAME VICTOIRE DE FRANCE. (From a portrait by Nattier in the Gallery 

at Versailles) 58 

LADY HAMILTON. (From a portrait by George Romney in the National 

Portrait Gallery) 68 

HORATIO, LORD NELSON. (From the oil-painting in the National Portrait 

Gallery) 72 



ASCANio FILOMARINO, DUCA DELLA TORRE. (Assassinated by the Lazzari 

in 1799.) (From a miniature in the Museum at San Martino) . . 112 


23, 1799 . . . . . , 120 

MENT, JANUARY 27, 1799 . I2 4 


GOVERNMENT. (Hanged, November u, 1799.) (From a miniature in 

the Museum at San Martino) 126 

POPULACE IN 1799 *36 


xvii b 


To fact page 
ENTRANCE TO CASTEL NUOVO. (Triumphal Arch of Alfonso d'Aragona) . 156 


ber 30, 1799, aged thirty) 1 9 













FERDINAND AND CAROLINA. (From the porcelain tray of the coffee-set 

presented to Cardinal Ruffo, painted in 1799) 3* 




GENNARO SERRA Di CASSANO. (Beheaded, August 20, 1799, in his twenty- 
fifth year.) (From a miniature in the possession oj the Cassano family) 344 


(Hanged, March 6, 1800) 362 


1799-1800 TOOK PLACE 364 


OF BAIA. (Beheaded, December 14, 1799 at the age of twenty-seven) 374 




HOUSE OP DOMENICO CiRiLLO. (Built by Liborio Cirillo in 1728) . . 394 
THE LION OF '99 . ......... 396 

The medallion upon the cover represents a little angel with its finger on its 
lip. In the Cathedral at Vico Equense, near Sorrento, in the series of portraits 
of the successive bishops, the place of Monsignor Natale, who was hanged in 
I 799 > is occupied by this significant figure. 

; NAPLES IN 1799 


Ferdinand IV. of Naples and I. of the Two Sicilies ; youth and 
bringing up ; character Opinion of Philip Hackert, Mrs. 
Piozzi, Helfert Marries Maria Carolina of Austria Letters 
of Ferdinand to his father The Court at San Martino The 
queen ; policy and character ; protects the Freemasons 
Tanucci Paramount influence of the queen ; her preference 
for foreigners Acton Contemporary sketches of Maria 
Carolina Extravagance Character of Acton ; his incapacity, 
ignorance, self-interest. 

WHEN Carlo III. of Bourbon (Carlyle's "Baby Carlos") 
quitted the throne of Naples in 1759 for the throne 
of Spain, he left as his successor in Naples his third 
son, a boy of eight years old, eventually known as 
Ferdinando IV., King of Naples and Sicily. 1 

During the minority of Ferdinand, and indeed for many 
years after he was grown up and married, the government 
of Naples was carried on by the old ministers of Carlo III., 
to whom every measure was submitted for approval, and 
who continued from Madrid minutely to direct all the 
affairs of the Two Sicilies. 

The education of the boy-king meanwhile was purposely 
neglected, and shorn down to within such narrow limits 
that his ignorance became a bye-word in the diplomatic 

1 Ferdinand was the fourth king of his name in Naples, and the 
third in Sicily. In 1817 (after the Congress of Vienna) he took 
the style of Ferdinand 1., King of the Two Sicilies. PlETRO 
COLLETTA : Storia del Reame di Na^oli, dal 1734 sino al 1825. 
Capolago, 1838. Lib. VIII., Cap. 25. 



and courtly gossip of the day. The intention of those 
who were responsible had been, no doubt, that the King 
of Naples should remain a puppet of the Court of Spain, 
and the idea was the more easily carried out in that it 
served to render him at the same time a puppet of his 
ministers nearer home ; so that one man's loss was to 
prove to the advantage of two kingdoms, and to much 
family and private interest. Of course the iniquitous 
plan failed most egregiously as far as the plotters were 
concerned, but Ferdinand remained its victim to the end 
of his long, inglorious life. 

Horace Mann, writing from Florence to his friend 
Walpole in 1768, when Ferdinand was about eighteen, 
says of the king that "his deficiency in delicacy and 
good sense is by many attributed to an organic defect, 
approaching to madness " (in fact, his eldest brother, 
Filippo, had been set aside from the succession on account 
of idiotcy) ; " but Lord Stormont assures me it proceeds 
totally from the want of education ; and that he is now 
what many schoolboys are in England at ten years old. 
If so, the scandalous neglect may be repaired by his 
most excellently well-bred queen whose great propriety of 
behaviour and most sensible questions and replies raised 
admiration in everybody." 1 

Strong and active as he was, the king's cramped 
energies found their only scope in athletics, rough games, 
practical jokes which were sometimes very cruel, and 
above all in hunting and fishing. Hunting became and 
remained his ruling passion, but it was not the sport 
to which something of difficulty and occasional danger 
lend a legitimate zest ; it was little more than butchery 
on a large scale. The king stood well protected in an 
uncovered sentry-box of solid masonry, of which some are 
still to be seen in the park at Portici, while the game was 

1 DR. DORAN: "Mann" and Manners at the Court of 
Florence ', 1740-1786. Founded on the letters of Horace Mann to 
Horace Walpole. 2 vols., Bentley & Son, 1876. Vol. II., p. 191. 


driven past, and had nothing to do but shoot as many as 
possible, which it is agreed he never failed to do. 

From the many glimpses that we get of him from 
the unconscious historians of the day, from - the letters 
of French ambassadors and secretaries, from English 
travellers and diplomatists, from the notes of the German 
painter Philip Hackert who lived so long at Naples and 
Caserta painting for the king, from traits and incidents 
reproduced in the correspondence of men who saw and 
knew him before he had been called to stand at the 
dreadful bar of history, it appears that Ferdinand was 
by no means unintelligent, nor otherwise than kindly in 
his natural disposition when things went smoothly with 
him, and that he did very well those simple things to 
which he was allowed to turn his hand. Hackert tells 
us, for instance, that he cleaned the lamps very nicely 
in the palace at Caserta. This German artist, who 
painted the king's favourite views for him, and many 
hunting-scenes to order, was pleased and surprised at 
the intelligent interest which the king took in his work, 
and with the propriety of his occasional criticisms, having 
evidently .been prepared by common report to find the 
king completely stupid and ignorant. Hackert tells how 
once when the king sat watching him paint at San Leucio, 
near Caserta, he broke the silence with a great sigh : 
" How many thousands would I give," said he, " to know 
only a tenth part of what you know ! They wanted to 
teach me drawing, but they taught it me as they did all 
the rest, so that I know little. God pardon those who 
were my guardians and teachers ! They are in paradise 
now." 1 Hackert was once Ferdinand's companion on 
a hunting-expedition, and says that out of a hundred 
shots the king missed only one. He was an expert 
fisherman, and rowed as well as the best sailor, delighting 
to row races with the boatmen on the gulf. 

Mrs. Piozzi shows herself delighted with the easy-going 
1 GOETHE : Philip Hackert. 


king, and says he is greatly beloved among the people, 
" and so he ought to be, for he is the representative of 
them all. He rides and rows and hunts the wild boar, 
and catches fish in the bay, and sells it in the market 
as dear as he can, too but gives away the money 
they pay him for it, and that directly, so that no suspicion 
of meanness, or of anything worse than a little rough 
merriment can be ever attached to his truly honest, open, 
undesigning character. . . . This prince lives among his 
subjects with the old Roman idea of a window before his 
bosom, I believe. They know the worst of him is that he 
shoots at the birds, dances with the girls, eats macaroni 
and helps himself to it with his fingers, and rows against 
the watermen in the bay. . . ." 1 

The picture of Ferdinand is a portrait. The writer only 
strays from truth when she calls him the representative of 
all his people, while he represented only the basest type 
of the nobility and the mass of the populace ; when 
she attributes to him a " truly honest " character, and 
further credits him with an "old Roman idea," which 
things were far from Ferdinand, and only show how easy 
it was then for a king to enjoy men's good will. 

The king wrote a capital clear hand, and said well and 
concisely what he had to say (which too frequently was 
not true), but had to submit his spelling to correction. 
He seems to have been polite and considerate to people 
about him, and generous within the limits of that kind 
of giving which is especially easy to kings, and may be 
said to cost the giver nothing. From these qualities 
Hackert and many others inferred that the king, with a 
better education, might have become the best ruler in 
Europe. Helfert goes so far as to declare that the mere 
letters of Ferdinand to the Emperor, his son-in-law, are 

1 MRS. Piozzi : Glimpses of Italian Society in the Eighteenth 
Century. (From the " Journey.") With an Introduction by the 
Countess Evelyn Martinengo Cesaresco. London, Seeley & Co., 
1 892, p. 227, etseq. 


"speaking proof that this Monarch was not lacking in 
gifts that fitted him to fill the place in which Providence 
had set him/' 1 But opinion is apt to be remarkably 
unexacting in the matter of royal virtue ; a very little, or 
even its counterfeit, often goes a long way did at least 
in those days ; and to people on their knees, as has been 
well said, any king seems tall. 

At any rate it appears that if such had been his sphere, 
he might possibly have made a harmless country gentle- 
man, and gone to his grave without ever betraying those 
inherent weaknesses and vices of character which " the 
fierce light that beats upon a throne " made all too plain 
as years went on. 

A weak man can never be a king. Ferdinand was born 
to be ruled by others not so much that he had a yielding 
character as that he hated to be disturbed, hated scenes, 
difficulties, opposition, mental effort ; and to avoid these 
things let others govern in his name. If he could have 
fallen into good hands, there would perhaps have been no 
great harm ; but in an evil day for him and for Naples he 
was given to wife, when he was seventeen, Maria Carolina 
of Austria, daughter of the great Maria Theresa, sister of 
Marie Antoinette, of Pietro Leopoldo, Grand-Duke of 
Tuscany, and of the Emperor Joseph II. of Austria, and 
she lived to be his ruin and that of the Bourbon dynasty 
at Naples, and the scourge of the kingdom she insisted 
on governing. 

The new queen, still in her teens, was devoured by the 
ambition to shine among the crowned heads of Europe, 
as her mother had shone and Catherine II., the famous 
Empress of Russia. The king, embarrassed by his con- 
scious ignorance, and dazzled and subdued by the brilliant 
qualities and high spirit of his wife no less than by her 
violent temper, soon became to her like clay in the hands 

1 FRH. VON HELFERT : Fabrizio Ruffo, Revolution und Gegen- 
Revolution von Neapel, November ijqS bis August 1799. Wien, 
1882, p. 488. 


of the potter, and the queen, " consummate mistress," as 
Hugh Elliot called her, " in the experienced management 
of every female wile and snare," now by flatteries and 
concessions, now by furious scenes and tears, led or drove 
him whatever way she chose. 1 

He complained of these things occasionally in his letters 
to his father, where he gives a ludicrous picture of the 
part he was forced to play in these domestic scenes. The 
queen, after some six years, and the birth of two daughters, 
became at last the mother of a son, and acquired thereby 
the right, most ardently desired, to a seat in the Council 
of State ; after which event she considered it superfluous 
to have any more children. She was destined, however, 
in the lapse of some five-and-twenty years, to have no 
less than seventeen a course of things which interfered 
intolerably with her extreme love of activity and amuse- 
ment, for which she took her revenge in outbursts of 
ungovernable rage against the author of her misfortunes. 
" She became a fury," wrote Ferdinand to his father, " she 
flew upon me like a dog, and even took my hand in her 
teeth, of which I still bear the marks. ... At table she 
was worse than ever, calling to all the servants who are 
maids, who could see nothing but that she was screeching 
like an eagle, and in language by no means decent, and I, 
with my head down, listened to her compliments without 
even opening my lips, and then without the least dis- 
composure I rose from table and quietly went away, 
without saying a word, so as not to give further scandal 
to those maids." 

" For pity's sake," he warns his father two years later, 
after giving another account of one of these conjugal 
quarrels, " take no notice of all this that I am writing to 
you when you answer, because, as she will want to see the 
letter, I shall get into a worse scrape. . . . Pardon me 
this unburdening of my feelings ; but with whom can I 

1 COUNTESS OF MINTO : Memoir of the Rt. Hon. Hugh Elliot, 
1868, p. 312. 


do it, if not with so loving a father, who I feel sure will 
pity me ? All Naples can bear me witness how I treat 
her, and that out of consideration I do nothing without 
letting her know, but to be maltreated thus is what I 
really don't know how to put up with." 

Of course it was not " out of consideration " that he did 
nothing without letting her know, but because he dared 
not for his life do otherwise. As for being maltreated, he 
put up with it for full forty years, until the English came 
to the rescue and drove the queen away. Not even in his 
letters can he put on a face of strength and resolution 
when he thinks of his terrible wife. 

Debarred from books not only by his extreme ignorance, 
which of course might have been overcome by determined 
study when once he was his own master, but also by the 
watchful jealousy of the queen's policy, Ferdinand, even 
after his nominal assumption of the direction of the 
government, after his marriage, after the birth of sons and 
daughters, continued to play about, unconscious of his 
responsibilities, or glad to be relieved of them as mere 
interruptions to his pleasures and favourite pursuits. 
" Vous savez bien que je n'ai pas le temps," he used to 
say thirty years later, when, as the French chargt d'affaires 
wrote to his chief at Paris, he left everything to the 
queen, only giving half an hour on Mondays to State 

His incurable childishness, as time wore it a little thin, 
gradually betrayed that malicious cruelty combined with a 
total absence of conscience or compunction which may be 
observed in idiots ; but Ferdinand had not their excuse. 
As late as 1806, when he was about fifty-five, Hugh Elliot, 
then British Ambassador at Palermo, described him " as 
immensely enjoying this period of his life" (when the 
French occupied the mainland, and he was reduced for the 
second time to Sicily alone ) ; " above all, rejoicing with 
strange gesticulations and stranger words when from some 
safe place he watched the artillery practice from the 


opposite shores ; clapping his hands with glee when a 
shot struck some miserable vessel hugging the coast, and 
apparently perfectly unmindful of the fact that such boats 
on either side of the strait were manned by his own 
subjects and countrymen." 1 

The Court swarmed at all times with well-born idlers 
ready to follow the fashion set by the king, some joining 
with zest in his amusements; others, with longer heads 
and longer fingers, turning the royal nonchalance to 
their own more solid advantage. 

At Portici, where the king had at one time a new 
fancy regiment, he set up a tavern in the camp and sold 
wine to the soldiers. It was at Portici also that he played 
the wanton and cruel trick recorded by Colletta, and 
referred to by Mann in one of his letters, in which he 
says that great indignation has been caused at Florence 
on hearing from Bonechi, the Tuscan agent at Naples, 
that two Florentine cavaliers, " personally very deserving 
men," have been " tossed in a blanket at the king's camp 
at Portici, in the presence of the whole court and thousands 
of spectators." Colletta speaks of only one, the young 
abate Mazzinghi, of noble Florentine family, who died 
at Rome a few months later in consequence of the 
mortification. 8 

Miss Cornelia Knight, in her autobiography, adds 
another touch to the same portrait, when the inveterate 
royal truant had long been a grandfather : " The King 
used to pass our house," she writes, "on his way to the 
lake where he caught the gulls that he sold to the fish- 
dealers. He weighed the birds with his own hands, and 
was very careful to be paid in good money." At other 
times when the king and his party had been fishing in 
the royal preserves of the Lago di Patria or the Lago 
di Fusaro, it was Ferdinand's special delight to sell his 

1 Memoir of Hugh Elliot, p 396. 

* DORAN : " Mann " and Manners, etc., Vol. II., p. 213. PIETRO 
COLLETTA : Storia del Reame di Na$oli, Vol. I., Lib. II. 


fish, imitating the dress, speech, and ways of his friends, 
the lazzaroni, and haggling as obstinately over his prices 
as the most seasoned fishmonger of Santa Lucia. Tradition 
points out the tavern under the church of Sannazzaro's 
Madonna del Parto at Mergellina as having once been 
the scene of these diversions. 

These things were commented on and caricatured all 
over Europe. 1 Stories of the doings of Ferdinand up 
to the year 1798 might be multiplied infinitely ; but they 
are all alike, and represent always the same overgrown 
schoolboy on a kind of perpetual " lark," whether he be 
seventeen or forty-seven. 

There is an amusing account, found in the archives 
at Turin, written by a monk of San Martino, of a visit 
paid to the Certosa under the Castle of Sant' Elmo in 
1769 by Ferdinand and Carolina with the Emperor 
Joseph II. 

The monks were up all night preparing a prodigious 
amount of sweets and liqueurs for the royal party, who 
came up next day with forty ladies and sixty gentlemen 
of the Court and crowds of hangers-on, and filled all the 
Certosa. The king ate sweets and cakes, and made the 
queen eat and all the Court, and forced the queen to drink. 
Then they betake themselves to the kitchen, and the king 
lights upon the common loaf of the cook ; he breaks 
it in three, tosses a piece per aria to the queen, a 
piece to the ladies, and shares the last with six of his 
gentlemen. Somewhat nauseated, no doubt, with so many 
sweets, all the fine company are enchanted with the 
coarse bread, and the king says the superiors are well 
off, but who are much better off are the poor brothers : 
and the monks think it a vastly fine joke. The bread 
is scarcely gone when the king says he wants to try 
an omelette. Fra Ignazio hurries forward to make it, but 
the king says he will make it himself, and was beginning 

1 See Go RANI; Memoir es secrets et critiques des cours, des 
gouvernements , etdesmceurs. Paris, 1793. 


to set about it, but, seeing how the monk whisked up 
the eggs twenty-eight, we are told in a moment, 
Ferdinand says that is not his way. When it is just 
being dished, the Emperor complains of the smell in 
the kitchen, and calls the queen away, to her visible 
annoyance, and the king and six gentlemen devoured 
the omelette, Kaunitz, the great chancellor, being one 
of the party. The king slaps the monks on the back 
and digs them in the ribs, and has many a rough laugh 
at their expense, to their great edification and delight. 

While the omelette was a-frying, Ferdinand stood over 
the fire under the black pent of the chimney, in all 
the smoke and steam, and fished maccheroni with a 
long copper ladle out of the big cauldron, and ate them 
with his fingers alia napoletana. "The king," continues 
the monkish narrator, "lay down in Fra Bonaventura's 
bed, who, per la consolazione y is going to make us each 
three different sorts of sherbet." In the kitchen the 
king asks for cheese, and condescends to eat also salame 
and " certain bergamot pears." 

The monks presented three gold reliquaries to the three 
royal personages, a packet of four pounds of candies to 
each of the bodyguard, and a parcel of choice cakes 
apiece for the rest who were off duty. 

At the end the king was perhaps a little tired of this 
pastime, or may have perceived that Joseph II. was 
bored, and we are told that he gave a kick behind to 
the young Prince of Stigliano, who was standing in the 
doorway, and called out with rude jocosity to the crowd 
of courtiers, " Out of the way, out of the way, or I'll 
soon settle your hash for you, one and all ! " l 

In pictures like these we have Ferdinand at his best, 
such as it is. The rest is to come as time goes on 
and events lay their stress upon him. 

1 " Scosta, scosta, o v' arremedio a quanti site." G. CLARETTA : 
Ferdinando IV. e V Imperatore Giuseppe II. alia Certosa di 
Napoli nel marzo, 1769, Arch. Stor. Nap. XVI., 2, p. 499, etc. 


The queen tacitly encouraged as much as possible all 
these tastes that kept the king out of public affairs and 
allowed her to rule in his name. She gradually sub- 
stituted for the policy of Carlo III. that of the royal 
family from which she came. The tendency of Carlo III. 
had been towards friendship with the kindred houses of 
France and Spain and enmity with England. The young 
queen aimed at withdrawing altogether from the Spanish 
tutelage, drawing closer to Austria, and looking, as time 
went on, to the English navy for protection by sea. This 
personal policy of Maria Carolina led her to disaster, and 
caused the ultimate ruin of the Bourbons of Naples. The 
queen never sought to identify herself with the country 
of her adoption ; and as her sister, Marie Antoinette* 
remained always r Autrichienne at her French Court, so 
Maria Carolina at Naples was PAustrtaca, nor dreamed of 
being anything else. All one can see in her is personal 
interest, and personal passion still stronger than interest. 
The country merely supplies the instruments or the objects 
of her private desires and revenges. The kingdom, in the 
gross, she regards as the " patrimony " of her children, 
and she intrigues and fights over it with the instincts 
of a mother-tiger rather than of a queen. She gave much 
to the poor, and at the same time heaped wealth and 
presents on swarms of utterly unworthy people spies, 
informers, favourites, and persons of whom she made use 
in ignoble and underhand ways, besides ministers and 
others whom she honoured lavishly in public. 

The last representative of the government of Carlo III. 
was the able and devoted old Tuscan minister, Bernardo 
Tanucci, who had ruled Naples and Sicily, king and 
Court, for many years from the Spanish point of view. 
He may be described as the last statesman under 
Ferdinand who to great power united a true conception 
of the interests of the country, which were, of course, 
in the long run, also those of the king and the dynasty. 
No love was lost between the old statesman and the 


new queen ; and Carolina knew no peace, although the 
struggle lasted nine years, until she had contrived to 
dislodge him and topple him down, getting rid thus, 
once for all, of the link that bound Naples to Madrid. 

The rock on which Tanucci made shipwreck were the 
Freemasons of Naples, whom he persecuted and imprisoned 
under orders from Madrid, while the queen protected them, 
if indeed she was not herself a member of the women's 
lodge. Joseph II. was a Freemason, and Pepe speaks of 
the custom among the Freemasons of his day, more than 
half a century later, of drinking to the memory of Maria 
Carolina. 1 The lodges of the Freemasons, of which there 
were several in Naples and the provinces, were the political 
nurseries of the rising generation, and, considering the 
storm that was then brewing over Europe, it is strange 
to find them protected by Marie Antoinette and Maria 

Ferdinand found himself placed in the dilemma of 
having to choose between offending his father at Madrid 
or his wife at home, and naturally chose to break with 
Madrid if only he might hope for peace within his domestic 
walls. The letters in which, with many transparent false- 
hoods and equivocations, he lays these matters before his 
father are characteristic and very amusing. 

On October 1st, 1776, he thanks his father "for all 
that your Majesty says in answer to what I wrote to you 
about the Freemasons, protected by my Wife, who, as your 
Majesty too truly observes, means to govern at all hazards, 
instigated from Vienna and by those about her, so that I 
must bear it with patience ; because otherwise, whatever 
she knows might annoy me, that she does. For my part, 
it is certain that I do what I can, but on the other hand, 
I like a quiet life [mi piace la pace in casd\ and I try to 
disturb the peace as little as I possibly can." 

1 Mentor ie del Generate Guglielmo Pepe in for no alia Sua Vita, 
e ai Recenti Cast d' Italia, scritte da lui medesimo. Parigi, 
1847. 2 vols 


For the sake of peace Ferdinand sacrificed the old 
minister, and was somewhat put to it to patch together 
what he considered plausible excuses to his father for 
what he had done. Among other reasons, he gives out 
that his confessor has " warned him of all the evil for 
which he will be responsible before God " if he does not 
change his minister. No doubt Ferdinand, knowing the 
extreme religious bigotry of his father, thought this an 
uncommonly clever hit ; but the old king knew his son 
well enough to take it for what it was worth. He may 
have felt that he himself was ere long to be set aside 
in like manner, and would have read without surprise the 
polite paragraph in Ferdinand's letter of December loth, 
in which he considerately proposed for the future to sub- 
mit only the affairs of greater importance to his Spanish 
majesty, " so as not to interfere with his Majesty's graver 

Ferdinand, meanwhile, on November I2th, had again 
thanked the King of Spain for his advice about the Free- 
masons " protected by my Wife, but let your Majesty not 
doubt that by means of my assiduous attention we shall 
continue to proceed against them with all rigour ; as for 
Tanucci, your Majesty may rest assured that though he 
is persecuted to the death by my Wife, and in consequence 
by the Court of Vienna, still what I have done has not 
been done at the instance of my Wife, but from pure 
motives of conscience, because I saw that with everything 
in Tanucci's hands matters were all going to ruin, and no 
good came of it ; in fact on the contrary, things were going 
from bad to worse. As to my Wife," proceeds this born 
liar and coward, having just averred that his wife had no 
hand in the matter, " instigated by her own people taking 
courage from this change, she is straining every nerve to 
enter into the government, wherefore let your Majesty 
pray take my part, because I shall try in the most con- 
ciliatory manner to frustrate her, although she threatens 
me on all sides, saying finally that she will let us see who 


she is and who are her people, because it has been a great 
mercy and good luck for us to have received her into our 
family. Your Majesty may do me the favour, in answer- 
ing this letter to affect to ignore this affair, or else, if 
your Majesty wishes to warn me or order anything, let it 
be done separately, because if she were to come to have 
scent of it I shall be pestered as long as I live, for she 
continually preaches nothing else but the confidence which 
must be between husband and wife, and so she wants to 
see and know all my affairs and read all my letters, but 
when I speak of wanting to see some letter she is writing 
to her people, or to know what she is writing, there is a 
battle, and if I insist she drives me away with abusive 
language, and for the sake of peace and quietness I am 
obliged to hold my tongue. Once more therefore I beg 
your Majesty to stand up for me when this is spoken 
of, because I am writing this in my lodge of San Leucio, 
under pretence of being gone hunting." 

Would any education have produced a king out of this 
stuff, with all due respect for Helfert and his admiration 
for the royal letters? 

The letters written from Naples are often in another 
style and tone, and may be taken to have been occasionally 
dictated by the queen. 1 

Not long after the fall of Tanucci, towards 1779, the 
growing audacity and constant depredations of the Barbary 
pirates drew attention to the ill-defended condition of the 
Neapolitan coasts, and it was decided to build a fleet. 

It was suggested to the queen, never disposed to look 
for energy and capacity among her own subjects, to call 
from her brother's Court of Tuscany one John Acton, an 
Englishman who had won some naval and military 

1 See the account of the affair of the Freemasons by MICHEL- 
ANGELO D'AYALA : I Liberi Muratori di Napoli nel secolo XVIII. 
Arch. Stor. Nap. XXII. and XXIII., where are many extracts from 
these letters preserved in the Spanish Archives of State at Simancas. 
Also, M. D'AYALA : Angelica Kaufmann a Napoli. Published 
in Napoli Nobilissima, Anno VII., Fasc. VII., July, 1898. 

1] ACTON 15 

distinction in conflict with the pirates, to be admiral of 
the new fleet. Acton, a son of Edward Gibbon's travelling 
physician, was English only in name, having been born 
and brought up in France, where he first took military 
service, but owing, it is said, to some misconduct, 
found it convenient to migrate to Italy. In an evil 
day for Naples this man came from Florence and was 
installed as Minister of Marine. It is said that the 
secret of his immediate and undoubted ascendancy over 
the queen lay in his fine, handsome person and in his 
natural indifference to her attractions ; certain it is 
that the unstable, impulsive Carolina found at once her 
master and her tool in this adventurer, and for more 
than thirty years these two drained the resources of the 
kingdom to their lowest ebb, and in their own interest 
dragged and pushed Naples and the king from one abyss 
of disgrace and ruin to another. 

The undisguised propensity of Carolina to make 
favourites of the men who succeeded in gaining her 
confidence a propensity which clung to her through life 
gave rise to a good deal of scandal and to accusations which 
do not seem ever to have been either proved or disproved. 
M. Alquier, who was French envoy at Naples later on, 
describes her with French neatness as une femme sans 
mceurs qu'on a pu soupqonner de tous les extis. 1 

It is remarkable how the many descriptions and portraits 
given of the queen by various contemporary diplomatists 
and others, English, French, and Italian, correspond, almost 
down to the use of the same images and phrases, through 
a long series of years. 

1 It is said, by people who should know, that diaries and letters 
of the queen, now in the keeping of the royal house of Italy, were 
withdrawn from the archives, by special request, lest the publication 
of their scandalous contents should give pain to the reigning house 
of Austria. Meanwhile, we are not seriously at a loss, for want of 
these documents, to know what to make of Maria Carolina. The 
exact extent of her private immorality matters little to us in 
comparison with her failure and her crimes as a queen. 


Gorani, for instance, the Lombard adventurer, seems to 
know her very well when he writes thus in his open letter 
to Ferdinand l : " Since, Sire, you have never studied, you 
have a great idea of the learning of the queen . . . she 
is an absurd pedant who has read a few books without 
in the least understanding them, and who has no real 
knowledge, no talent, no virtue. ... If this woman 
were nothing else but licentious and pedantic she would 
be merely contemptible . . . but upon her lover, upon her 
favourites, she lavishes the blood of your people." The 
queen, he says, is execrated by all her subjects, "who 
accuse her, and justly, of all the evils which they suffer." 
Gorani seems rather to have admired Ferdinand than 
not in those days, as a man who, however deficient in 
education, might at least have been open to reason and 
good influence. It is no wonder, he says indulgently, 
that Ferdinand should be covered with relics and charms, 
and that during thunderstorms he should walk about his 
apartments ringing a little bell taken from the Holy 
House at Loreto. But that the queen, with all her 
pretensions to philosophy, should be taken, on and off, 
with fits of superstitious devotion, he considers as a 
strong proof of the real inferiority of her understanding. 

Miss Knight, who saw a good deal of the queen in 
1798-1799, and was intimate with people who knew her 
very well, after remarking that she was neither well dressed 
nor graceful, unconsciously confirms Gorani when she says : 
" The queen used to be subject to fits of devotion, at which 
times she stuck short prayers and pious ejaculations inside 
of her stays, and occasionally swallowed them." 2 This is 

1 G. GORANI : Lettres aux Souverains sur la Revolution 
franfaise. Paris, 1793. MARC MONNIER : Un Aventurier Italien 
du Silcle Dernier: Le Comte Joseph Gorani, depresses Memoir es 
intdits. Paris, 1884. 

* Autobiography, 2nd ed., 1861. See also Horace Mann to 
Walpole, at an earlier date : " I can send you nothing but such 
follies as these from such a country, where the most unprejudiced 
afraid to own that they do not believe that the straw hat of 



(Considered the best likeness of the Queen.) 

[To face p. 16. 


no doubt quite true ; such things are still sold by priests 
notably at Valle di Pompei and are bought by the 
credulous devout and swallowed as a remedy for bodily 
infirmity, not without a beneficial influence upon salvation 
into the bargain. 

"The queen seems to devote herself to the cares of 
administration," wrote General Dumouriez in his in- 
structions to Mackau, French Ambassador at Naples 
in 1792, "without, however, neglecting her pleasures. 
Amiable enough by nature, and possessing even some 
little culture, she might possibly do pretty well if to 
these qualities she united the strength necessary for con- 
ceiving and following a plan ; and if, more mistress of 
her passions, she were capable of subordinating them to 
the true interests of the country where she reigns." 1 

Baron Alquier, French Ambassador in 1803, draws 
precisely the same portrait. 2 " At heart," he writes, " she 
is neither good nor bad. . . . Full of instruction, she has 
attempted to govern : the keenest taste for pleasure has 
been coupled with a passion for ruling, whence the double 
depravity of her political intrigues and her private conduct. 
. . . The life of the queen is nothing but a long series of 
errors and regrets. . . . The breadth and superiority of 
her intelligence have been greatly overrated ; she will dare 
anything ; that is all her secret. Tormented by the desire 
to govern, her gifts, which would have been very remark- 
able if she had remained within the sphere allotted to a 
woman, have degenerated into a habit of meddling which 
has been nothing short of disastrous for Europe." 

St. Catherine, or the measure of her waist in a ribbon, or the eating, 
either dry or in sops, little scraps of paper with the word Gesu, 
Maria, or any Saint, upon it, will not cure a fever, or procure 
salvation." " Mann " and Manners, etc., Vol. I., p. 366. 

1 IMBERT DE SAINT-AMAND : La Jeunesse de la Reine Marie- 
Amelie. Paris, 1891. 

1 E. D. FORGUES : Histoire de Nelson d'apres les De$6ches 
Officielles et ses Corresfiondances Prtvees. Paris, Charpentier, 


Compare with these the descriptions of Paget and 
Elliot, and finally this of Sir John Moore, written in 1807 
after three weeks' acquaintance : " The Queen is clever 
enough ; in private life she would be an agreeable and 
entertaining woman ; but she has not ability for Publick 
affairs ; she is governed by those about her, who are 
generally of the very worst description, for she is deficient 
in knowledge of character, and has a bad selection." l 

From 1777 onwards it became gradually the rule to 
call in foreigners, among whom were many Tuscans, 
to fill all the principal offices in the Government, with the 
very natural result that patriotism disappeared from high 
places, and individual interests and conflicting intrigues 
took the place of government, causing immense expense, 
waste, and confusion. 

G. E. Martinengo, sent in April, 1799, by the Cisalpine 
Government to gather information on the conditions of 
Southern Italy, reported that in the time of Tanucci the 
whole administration of all the departments of State at 
Naples cost 22,000 ducats a year, Tanucci himself Tuscan 
though he was never having received more than 8,000 
ducats. Acton alone, in 1798, had 60,000 ducats a year, 
besides rich presents constantly made him by the king 
and queen. 3 

These figures seem exaggerated, but on turning to 
Bianchini, soberest of Bourbon historians, it appears that 
they may even fall short of the truth. 3 Bianchini puts 
Tanucci's highest salary at 10,000 ducats, and observes 
that his immediate successor, Sambuca, had 30,000, besides 
pensions and so forth to his family, by which they became 

1 THE Rt. HON. SIR AUGUSTUS PAGET: The Paget Papers, 
Diplomatic and Other Correspondence of the Rt. Hon. Sir 
Arthur Paget, G.C.B., 1794-1807. 2 vols. London, 1896. Vol. II., 

P- 338. 

1 CESARE CANTU : Corrispondenze di Diplomatici delta Repub- 
blica e del Regno d* Italia, 1796-1814. Turin, 1884-1888, p. 16. 

8 LUDOVICO BIANCHINI : Storia delle Finanze del Regno di 
i, 3rd ed. Napoli, 1859, pp. 343, 350, etc. 


very rich. Here we find, also, that towards the year 
1789 the expenses which came under the sole head of 
diplomacy amounted to 150,000 ducats annually, without 
counting the salaries of the consuls. After that year 
the expenses increased beyond measure, " and the govern- 
ment at that time paid even the heavy sums which our 
diplomatists lost, without any political scope, at games 
of chance." The ambassadors, Bianchini says, were never 
so enormously paid as from 1790 to 1806, and never did 
so little for the interests of their country. 

Facts like these must be borne in mind when we find 
presently that every true Neapolitan who cared for his 
country cherished an invincible enmity to the queen and 
to the rapacious foreigners whom she favoured. This was 
a noble and just resentment not, as may have been idly 
supposed, the groundless jealousy of ill-conditioned or 
incapable men against those more fortunate than them- 
selves. Under this system, that was like a greedy and 
remorseless foreign occupation, we are not surprised to 
learn that by the year 1799 the deficit of the public 
treasury amounted to 28,000,000 ducats. 1 

Acton was the very prince and type of the parasites 
who sapped the life-blood of the kingdom. " He had no 
idea whatever," writes Amaury Duval, "of the interests 
of the Powers, of the politics of Europe, nor even of 
the very country which he governed," and he calls him the 
minister who has committed most blunders and done 
the most harm at Naples. 2 The common accusation 
and it is a vital one against all these foreigners was 
their absolute ignorance of and indifference to the con- 
ditions and interests of the country. 

1 BIANCHINI, p. 334. 

3 See Memoires Historiques, Politiques, et Litter air es sur le 
Royaume de Naples, par M. le Comte GREGOIRE ORLOFF, Senateur 
de 1'Empire de Russie, publics, avec des notes et additions, par 
AMAURY DUVAL, Membre de 1'Institut Royal de France. Paris, 
1819. Vol. II. Duval was some years at Naples inclusive of 


A typical example of both ignorance and indifference 
in the queen and her favourite is the building of the 
fleet. What was wanted were light quick sailing vessels 
sufficiently armed to chase the Barbary pirates. Instead 
of this, Acton, at enormous expense, built a fleet chiefly 
of ships of war, so far out of proportion to the resources of 
the kingdom that when they were fitted out with crews, 
not enough men were left available for the trading 
vessels, with the result, reported by Martinengo in 1799,* 
that within the years '97 and '98 the pirates captured 
no fewer than two hundred and twenty-five Neapolitan 
merchant vessels. 2 

Yet such was Acton's influence with the queen, in 
spite of his manifest incapacity, that within a few years 
all the great offices of State were united in the person 
of this one man. He was Minister of Marine, Minister 
of War, Minister for Foreign Affairs, and if he was not 
also Minister of Finance it was because he abolished 
the post and entrusted the department to a council which, 
together with the departments of Justice, Public Worship, 
Police, and so forth, was subordinate to him. Acton was 
thus practically king, and, says Colletta, "was more 

1 C. CANTU : Corrisgondenze, etc., p. 15. 

* Even Nelson commented on the cost of building ships at 
Naples in comparison with England. The difference, however, 
was due to the difference in honesty in the contracting and 
controlling departments. Practical Carlo III. had gone about 
in a very different way to form his fleet. Among the items of 
the State revenues Bianchini enumerates one called the " crusade 
revenue," so named because Pope Clement XII. had granted Carlo 
a Bull of Indulgence whereby the Neapolitans, on payment of 
certain sums proportioned to their condition, might buy the 
privilege of eating cheese, fat, and other forbidden things during 
Lent, and on Fridays, Saturdays, and all vigils and fast-days, 
the proceeds to be used for the building of a fleet. As the fleet 
was to be employed against the Barbary pirates, the Pope and 
all the other pious contractors and parties to the bargain were 
able to regard the undertaking as a crusade. It brought yearly 
70,000 ducats into the treasury. This sale of indulgences was 
put into practice in 1778. (See BIANCHINI, p. 325.) 


feared and respected than King Ferdinand, wallowing idly 
in the gross pleasures of life." 

The fortune that he accumulated he invested in England, 
and seems to have been averse to spending in the country 
that enriched him. In all the strings of adjectives used 
by his contemporaries to paint his character, two are 
never wanting : avaricious and double-dealing. 

Roughly speaking, these three people, the king, the 
queen, and Acton, were together responsible for the 
government of the two Sicilies for more than thirty 


The feudal system Condition of the provinces Naples The 
lazzari Charitable institutions ; they foster beggary and 
idleness Enormous abuses Great over-proportion of monks, 
nuns, and priests The nobility The $aglietti\ influence 
on public administration The letter ati The queen 
patronises culture Goethe Mario Pagano Filangieri 
Conforti Cirillo Eleonora Fonseca Pimentel. 

IT had been the curse of Naples and of all Southern 
Italy to be for centuries the perpetual spoil of 
contending foreigners : Lombards, Normans, Swabians, 
Angevins, Aragonese, French, Spaniards, succeeded one 
another in the coveted possession, while the land remained 
a battlefield for alien quarrels, and its people fought or 
suffered, all too obediently, in causes that were never 
theirs. Such wealth as could be wrung out of the land was 
the property of the ruler of the moment and his immediate 
dependants and supporters, and was spent in undertakings 
in which the interests of the country had too seldom any 
concern ; and while the spoilers stripped away the fruit 
greedily with both hands, they rarely took thought for 
the tree that bore it. For the last two centuries and 
more before the coming of the Bourbons, Naples had been 
a mere province of Spain, governed by more or less 
inefficient Spanish viceroys. 

The one thing that grew and flourished and drew life from 
the rulers on the one hand and the people on the other 
during those succeeding changes which brought no change 
at the real heart of the country, was the feudal system, 
which took a grip of Southern Italy such as it had been 


able to take in no other part of Western Europe. The 
kings and viceroys, distracted by interests among which 
Naples never came first, were at no time powerful enough 
to be able to put any curb on the barons ; and there was 
no popular municipal vitality, no organised conscious 
civil right guarded by active and jealous communes, as 
in Northern and Central Italy, to offer stubborn and 
effective resistance. This was greatly due to the iron 
tyranny which crushed out of the people energy and 
ambition, which could serve them nothing; but, on the 
other hand, that tyranny found a congenial soil in the 
character of the population, too ready to accept an evil 
lot and to become indifferent to it so that cause and 
effect were to be found on both sides, and interacted 
to the constant advantage of the strong over the weak. 

The state of Southern Italy was worse impossible as 
it seems that anything could be worse than the state of 
feudal France described by Arthur Young in his Travels 
in France. Colletta and other Italian writers * have given 
us descriptions of its cruel tyranny that leave the reader 
oppressed with the suffering of those nameless millions 
whose existence of tormented misery went to swell the 
tremendous price, perhaps yet not wholly paid, for some 
good still only partly attained. 

In 1789 and later, out of some 2,765 towns and 
inhabited places in the kingdom of Naples, barely two 
hundred were not feudal. The feudal towns, Colletta tells 
us, could be distinguished at first sight by the poverty 
of the dwellings, the squalor of the inhabitants, the 
absence of all appearance of civilisation, of public 
buildings, and the conveniences and ornaments proper 
to towns. Frowning over an infinity of huts and cabins 
were the feudal castle, the prison, the monastery, and a 
few vast fortified palaces, or some enormous episcopal 

1 PIETRO COLLETTA: Storia del Reame di Napoli. DAVIDE 
WINSPEARE : Storia del Feudalismo. LUDOVICO BIANCHINI : 
Storia delle Finanze, etc. 


establishment. In 1789, in one of these feudal towns, 
within fifteen miles of Naples, only the agents of the 
baron lived in houses, and the people, to the number of 
two thousand, sheltered from the weather in straw huts, 
or, like wild animals, in caves. The sole accommodation 
offered by these dwellings was often but a heap of straw, 
shared generally with pigs and fowls ; the better kind 
had a mud and wattle partition between men and beasts, 
and that was all. 

The people were literally slaves of their feudal lord. 
Besides the legal exactions of personal service, or its 
equivalent in tribute, the barons wrung out extra con- 
tributions upon every sort of pretence, with the sole 
alternative of paying a fine for exemption ; and as fast 
as the peasant bought himself free from one oppression 
another was imposed. An annual tax was known to be 
exacted as many as ten times over in the same year, 
the amount being limited only by the discretion of the 
exactor. The peasant could scarcely stir without incurring 
liability to a fine. For example, the whole of Terra 
d'Otranto was subject to taxes in favour of the barons 
upon all its natural and artificial produce ; nothing, not 
even stones, rain-water, dead leaves, dung, could be used 
by the peasant until he had paid for it in money, kind, 
or labour. The industrial produce ranged from coarse 
textures woven by the peasant-women up to the work 
of artisans and small tradesmen ; but nothing could be 
sold until a tenth of its value had been paid to the 
feudal lord. 

There was a tax upon buttons, a tax on the viscera 
of slaughtered animals, a tax on the right to kill fowls, 
a tax on spectacles, a tax on the shade of trees ; there 
was even a death-tax, so that a dead body could not be 
laid in the earth before it had paid one last bitter tribute 
to the inexorable power from which there was no escape. 
From time to time contributions, disguised under the 
name of " loans," of provisions, of domestic animals, were 


levied by the baron, now because of a law-suit, now for 
the maintenance of his family, his servants, his hounds, 
his mistress. There were, moreover, arbitrary prohibitions 
to construct dwellings, to make gardens, vineyards, olive- 
yards, to plant useful or fruitful trees; many of these 
restrictions were enforced with the view of maintaining 
the game undisturbed. 

The feudal lord often pretended to the monopoly of 
every local industry and convenience ; in many places no 
peasant might have a baking-oven, a smithy, a mill, 
a wine-press, a tavern, but was forced to carry his 
produce to the mill, the press, the oven of the baron, 
where, as often as not, it was spoiled while waiting among 
many for its turn. The wine he made, his oil, cheese, 
eggs and poultry could only be sold in the baron's tavern, 
where, of course, it paid a heavy tribute. On occasion the 
peasants, without any payment, were obliged to carry 
heavy loads upon their shoulders, or by means of their 
own mules, from the confines of Puglia to Naples. Any 
recalcitrant was liable to be clapped into prison without 
the prospect of being able to invoke the aid of any law 
which might get him out ; his complaints were only 
likely to return upon his own head. The feudal lord had 
dungeons underground and oubliettes, discovered within 
this last century, where the bones of many an unavenged 
victim have been brought to light. The only right many 
whole communes of wretched peasants possessed was that 
of baking unleavened dough under the ashes of the fire 
kindled on the mud floor in the middle of their miserable 
dwellings ; and even this was sometimes made occasion 
for a suit against them by the rapacious and cruel agents 
of the lords of the soil. It is no wonder that many of 
these men, in despair, took to robbery, and abandoned 
the cultivation of the land which profited them nothing. 

This state of things was maintained by the troops of 
armed men whom each baron kept at his service. Those 
lands which belonged to the Crown were slightly better 


off, because the tyranny was less personal, and could 
always be imputed to agents and so appealed against. 
Thus it came about that many little communes, at the 
sacrifice of almost all they had, and by incurring enormous 
debts, contrived to buy the privilege, such as it was, of 
belonging to the Crown, with the stipulation that they 
might rebel with impunity against any attempt to sell 
or give them to any other feudal lord. Nevertheless, 
they were sold over and over again, and the Feudal 
Commission of 1806 found the original debts still existing. 1 
Under these conditions the misery and ignorance of 
a mass of slaves enabled a few rich men to live useless, 
luxurious lives, and a sense of patriotism was as far from 
one class as the other. There was no such conception 
as the public good ; the common weal did not exist 

1 A typical instance is given by Galanti (G. M. GALANTI : Nuova 
Descrizione Geografica e Politica delle Sicilie. Napoli, 1789. 
Vol. III., p. 10, et seq.) 

The city of Lanciano in Abruzzo had obtained, shortly after the 
year 1200, from the Emperor Frederick II., the privilege of remaining 
"for ever" as demanio i.e. a royal fief. The original charter, 
in the course of five centuries, had been renewed and confirmed 
no less than sixteen times, and for the maintenance of this privilege 
the city came to pay the Crown an annual tax of 3,600 ducats. In 
spite of charters and the regular payment of the tax, heavy as 
it was, the city was sold in 1640 to a certain Genoese, Andrea 
Pallavicini, duca di Castro, to defray the debt owed him by the 
Crown as contractor for the victualling of the troops. The price 
was calculated at forty-seven ducats " per hearth," and for the 1,492 
"hearths" in the city Lanciano was sold for 70,124 ducats. 
Pallavicini' s agent, sent to take possession, was obliged by the 
popular fury to fly for his life, and Pallavicini sold his bargain 
in 1646 to the Marchese del Vasto. 

The royal exchequer all this time obliged Lanciano to continue 
the annual payment to the Crown of 3,600 ducats, and when the 
city appealed against the flagrant breach of contract, judgment 
was given that Lanciano was to remain a fief of the Marchese 
del Vasto until such time as the city should have paid him the 
price he had paid to acquire it. 

This, says Galanti, was the fate of all the feudal towns in 
the kingdom. 


outside the pages of a few wise books, read by no one 
whom they concerned. 

Against the system and its abuses there was practically 
no redress ; the strongest arm and the longest purse 
were certain to be masters, and if the feudal system 
seethed with infinite disorders, abuses, confusions, no less 
so did the law itself. " The collection of the Neapolitan 
laws," says Count OrlofT, "was a kind of chaos, to the 
formation of which Roman, ecclesiastical and feudal law, 
the constitutions of the Norman and Swabian princes, the 
charters of the Angevins, the edicts of the Aragonese 
and of the viceroys, the special statutes and privileges of 
the city of Naples, etc. . . . had all contributed." 1 This 
state of things became a school for lawyers who prolonged 
and revelled in litigation. The administration of justice 
meanwhile resided in many different centres the barons 
usurping civil and criminal jurisdiction each in his own 
domain, the Church interfering with special privileges 
and immunities of its own. 

Laws were passed over and over again with a view to 
mitigating the abuses of power by the barons, since not 
only was the industry of the country in a complete state 
of paralysis, but the nobles interfered even with the 
collection of the royal taxes and revenues. But of these 
laws not one, during many centuries, ever effectively 
reached the barons; they felt themselves practically 
independent of the kings. 

Carlo III. furnished the provincial tribunals with troops 
for the special purpose of neutralising the armed forces of 
the feudal lords, which had become a power that set the 
State at defiance. These tribunals were instituted for 
the defence of the peasants, and were presided over by 
a military officer of superior rank. But the remedy not 
only did not meet the evil, but often actually increased it. 
This we gather from an unpublished despatch of Acton in 
1797, when, on occasion of the royal visit to Manfredonia 
1 ORLOFF : Memoires Historiques, etc.> Vol. II., p. 153. 


to receive the Princess Clementina, coming as the bride of 
the prince royal, grievances were laid before the king. 1 

Complaint was made of the bands of robbers that infested 
the country, and of the negligence of the provincial 
governors, and the complicity of the soldiers^ who were 
either themselves at the head of these bands, or in their 
company helped to rob the unoffending country people. 
And not only the open country was subject to these 
depredations, but " entire populations are infested in the 
very centre of their dwellings by thieves and assassins, 
who are among the citizens themselves, without the 
unfortunate inhabitants being able to obtain justice in 
answer to their appeals, nor defence against the losses 
of every kind to which they are exposed in their own 
homes and in the open country." 

Again and again one reads of excellent and detailed 
provisions made by the royal Government for reforms and 
remedy of abuses; but they broke like waves impotent 
against the rock of inveterate corruption in high places, 
and the historian, after leading one to admire the good 
intentions and wisdom of the monarch, is fain repeatedly 
to confess, " this law was never carried into the smallest 

Each abuse was made the object of a special com- 
mission. The laws all took the form of royal edicts ; 
military, naval, ecclesiastical, and civil matters were all 
managed in the same way, and too often the edict 
remained a dead letter, and all went on as before. 

While Delfico, Pagano, Luigi Serio, Giaquinto spoke, 
wrote, and strove their utmost to bring light and order 
into this chaos of abuses, Acton and others in high 
places had a personal interest in maintaining the general 
corruption, always of material advantage to the few in 
power. Laws, edicts, commissions, all came to the same 
futile result. When in 1791 Giuseppe Zurlo was sent into 

1 LUIGI CONFORTI : Na$oli dalla Pace di Parigi alia Guerra 
del 1798, etc. Napoli, 1889, p. 23, et seq. 


Calabria to report on the administration of some of the 
Crown lands, he compiled a detailed report in three large 
volumes, of which a duplicate was lodged with Acton at the 
ministry, the other being deposited by Zurlo at Cosenza. 
Within a very short time both copies disappeared ! That 
of Zurlo was only found by accident as long afterwards 
as 1 827. 1 Thus it may be said that the kings made 
laws, and their servants, the great army of middle-men, 
saw well to it that they should have no effect. 2 i^Y 

Naples, the capital, was, next to Paris, the largest 
and most densely populated town on the Continent ; and 
presented, then as now, the utmost contrasts between 
wealth and extravagant luxury and the most squalid 
poverty. Typical among the lowest population were 
the lazzari, chief essence of whose condition was the 
having neither fixed employment nor special habitation. 
In a population of some 437,000, Colletta puts the lazzari 
at about 30,000, but says they were never taken account 
of as such in the census. Besides these vagabonds by 
profession, who did not beg because they had no difficulty 
in exacting what they wanted out of the timid com- 
plaisance of their neighbours, there were an untold number 
of persons of every sort who lived at the expense of 
one or another of the scores of charitable institutions 
with which Naples abounded. Many of these institutions 
were extremely rich, some of them enjoying a revenue 
of two or three million ducats, which were withdrawn 
from industrial circulation, and served merely to support 
a greedy and dishonest army of administrators and a 
mass of persons who, by family connection or otherwise, 
acquired a right to be supported by charity. Thus, says 
Bianchini, 3 when the church bells rang at noon, one saw 

1 BIANCHINI : Storia delle Fmanze, etc., p. 304. 

3 See also Sejour d'un Officier Fran$ais en Calabre ; ou Lettres 
Propres a fair e connaitre Vetat ancien etmoderne de la Calabre, 
etc. Paris and Rouen, 1820. 

BIANCHINI, p. 377. 


crowds of people, nearly all in robust health, flocking 
to the doors of the religious houses and the monasteries 
to receive their portion of soup. Others, without leaving 
their houses, received bank-tickets of a certain value on 
certain days ; among these were many men of gentle birth, 
who were ashamed to exercise any profession, but were 
not ashamed to live on charity. 

Among these masses of artificial poor there came to be 
regular distinctions of class, as though mendicity itself 
were a profession not all dishonourable. Thus there were 
the poor, the beggars, the poor a domicilio, the poveri 
vergognosi, or poor who were ashamed of their poverty. 
Nor did one single institution among them all oblige 
the recipients of its charity to learn and exercise any 
industry ; and even in the orphanages and asylums the 
inmates lived in complete idleness and not only in 
idleness, but in squalor and misery, because far the 
greater part of the revenues were appropriated by the 
administrators, so that the populace had a saying : 
" With the money of the poor gentlemen grow 

An example of this kind of homicidal charity, that 
stood for religion among ignorant and indifferent people, 
was the institution of the Annunziata for new-born 
foundling children. Galanti 1 estimates that twenty-five 
thousand infants were abandoned annually in the king- 
dom, of whom some two thousand were received in the 
Annunziata in Naples. About three-quarters of these 
infants died on arrival. Of those who survived, the 
boys were kept till they were six years old, and then 
abandoned to themselves without any education, and 
furnished abundant material eventually for the prisons 
and the gallows ; so that it were better they had died 
in their wretched infancy, and that the nurses, priests, 

1 G. M. GAI.ANTI: Nuova Descrizione, etc., Vol, HI., pp. 


secretaries, and managers had taken all the funds and 
given up the pretence of charity. 1 

Enormous and widespread abuses of this sort were 
sheltered by their semi-religious character, which brought 
them greatly under the control and protection of the 
Church, whose secular interest was extensively involved 
in their continuance. Reforms, it may be imagined, took 
a long time to make the smallest impression here as else- 
where in the general corruption ; these, by aiming at the 
reduction of the number of priests and monks, endeavoured 
to strike at the root of the great evil, and comparison of 
statistics shows that by slow degrees Carlo III. and 
Ferdinand did succeed in slightly lessening the proportion 
they bore to the total population. 

This proportion is given by Duclos, in 1766, as being in 
the whole kingdom one to thirty-seven ; in Naples itself 
one to twenty-two persons. 2 In 1786, twenty years later, 
the proportion, according to Bianchini, was of one to 
forty-eight in the whole kingdom ; and an estimate for 
1803, which, however, excludes Sicily, gives the propor- 
tion as one to sixty-eight. 3 

1 There were plenty of these hospices in the provinces, but the 
greater part had ceased to fulfil at all their original function, 
and many (for example, the one at Venafro) spent the whole 
endowment on their church and its priests. One of them, Guardia di 
Cerreto, kept twenty-two chaplains and sent all the foundlings to 
Naples. Some were administered for a score of years together 
without ever showing an account. Most of them sent the 
foundlings to Naples or Capua, kept their hospitals empty, and 
spent the endowment on chaplains, arbitrary almsgiving, and 
enlarging their buildings and generally increasing the comfort of 
a swarm of parasites. Another, neglecting alike hospital and 
foundlings, raised marble altars in its chapel, and lent money on 
usury to the syndics of the neighbouring communes. 

s CH. DUCLOS : Voyage en Italic. Paris, 1797, p. 117. 

3 BIANCHINI, p. 300. GAGLIARDO : Biblioteca di Campagna, 
1805, T. III., p. 87. G. GALANTI : Napoli e Contorni, 1829, p. 207. 
Galanti says that in 1786 there were little less than two hundred 
convents and monasteries in Naples itself, containing 3,644 monks 
and 6,416 nuns. The priests in the same year were 3,143. 


This crowd of gens d'tgltse, exempt from taxes and 
contributing nothing to any kind of labour or industry, 
while their various united revenues amounted to about 
9,500,000 ducats, sapped the life of the population ; while 
the multitude of religious festivals and holidays fostered 
idleness in the people under the universal cloak of religion. 

The majority of the nobles chiefly absentee landlords 
hung about the Court, completely self-interested, and 
^indifferent whether the ruler were Angevin or Aragon- 
ese, Viceroy or Bourbon, so long as the privileges and 
perquisites of life around a royal centre were theirs. 

Between the rich nobility and the squalid populace, 
ignorant and idle alike, withering or stunted limbs of the 
political body, lay the potent centre of all its real vitality, 
beat the warm heart of its true life. 

The less noble form of mental activity was represented 
by a host of lawyers, who lived upon the confusion of 
laws and systems and abuses of every sort with which 
Neapolitan existence was dismally and hopelessly en- 
tangled. Duclos puts these gens de palais> or paglietti, as 
they were called at Naples, at from twenty-five to thirty 
thousand in a population of 337,100 i.e. about one in 
thirteen or fourteen ; but he adds that although he 
has known plenty of extremely estimable men among 
the nobility, the most cultured class are undoubtedly the 
lawyers. The immense preponderance of men whose 
occupation was purely legal gave their name to a class 
which included doctors, professors, and learned and 
cultivated men in general. 

It was unfortunate that as fast as any little breach was 
effected in the feudal system, it was immediately mounted 
by the men of the law, who became the right arm of the 
Government, intent on reforming only those abuses which 
belonged especially to the feudal system or were derived 
from the usurpations of the papal power. Larger reforms 
would have brought other talents and another spirit to 
the front. As it was, the great road to power and fortune, 


in varying degrees, came to be through the law ; the most 
useful talent, a talent for talking, arguing, persuading, 
which naturally degenerated into quibbling, twisting, 
perverting, in order to reach a predetermined goal. The 
endeavour to straighten the law (made for man) by the 
universal conscience of right and justice was completely 
lost sight of, and the law became a mere plastic 
instrument of tyranny, and came to offer protection to 
every sort of vileness, provided it served the turn of 
the ruling caprice. This element became henceforth the 
dominant characteristic of Neapolitan public life. 

It was a development, however, which represented the 
shadowy side of Neapolitan culture. Happily for Naples, 
it had also a very brilliant side, and, indeed, enjoyed for 
a brief score of years an apparent golden age under the 
patronage of Ferdinand and Carolina. 

During the profound peace of those early years the 
restless young queen, full of a flighty kind of cleverness, 
found no other scope for her ambition than to figure as 
a reformer and a patroness of learning and art, in imitation 
of her brothers the Emperor of Austria and the Grand- 
Duke of Tuscany, who were conspicuous for the liberality 
of their government. 

As events showed, Maria Carolina had no liberality in 
her composition, and but the shallowest appreciation of 
the literary, scientific, and educational movements which 
she set herself to patronise, caring, like the inferior 
woman that she was, everything about the pose and 
the applause, and ignoring all but the merest outside 
semblances of the rest. 

Court patronage and the prevalent and increasing 
passion for everything that was French made elegance 
of style the great aim of Neapolitan literature. Taken 
up as a fashion, from the outside, it was inevitable that 
much of the apparent culture should be a mere reflection, 
not the shining of living light that could not be hid. But 
the atmosphere was favourable to talent and study as 



well as to their counterfeits, and false and true flourished 
side by side in the sunshine of royal patronage. 1 

Goethe found among Neapolitans, in 1787, a very widely 
diffused eagerness for and pleasure in culture and know- 
ledge. " They are only too happy," he says, " to get upon 
the right road " ; and adds, with that innocent conceit 
which carried him comfortably through his long life : 
" If I only had more time, I would gladly devote more 
to them." The author of Werther was sought after by 
all the young letterati among others by the Marchese 
Berio, whose melodramatic poetry was better, eventually, 
than most Neapolitan poetry "a young man," remarks 
Goethe condescendingly, "who seems to know a great 

During these fortunate early years many new chairs 
were founded in the University of Naples ; academies of 
painting, sculpture, architecture, were revived or founded ; 
libraries and museums were instituted and enriched ; a 
school of anatomy was founded, a chemical laboratory, 
a botanical garden. The new Chair of Political Economy, 
held first by Antonio Genovesi, was the first to be 
established in Europe. With the hospital of the Incurabili 
were connected new chairs of physics, surgery, medicine, 
and obstetrics. 

Mario Pagano became Professor of Criminal Juris- 
prudence in the University, and was invited by the 
Government to present projects for the reform of the 
criminal code. It was during these years that he wrote 
the Political Essays and various works on criminal law 
which became honourably known all over Europe. 2 

The position of literary and scientific men at Naples 
at this time could not be better illustrated than by the 
independent spirit of the Saggi Politid. The book treats, 

1 For a full and sympathetic account of Neapolitan culture at 
this time, see P. ULLOA : Pensees et Souvenirs sur la Literature 
Contemporaine du Roy aume de Naples. Geneve, 1858, Vol. I. 

' MARIO PAGANO: Saggi Politici. Napoli, 1783. 


in many essays, of the rise, progress, and decadence of 
nations and of society, and nothing could be more liberal 
and even democratic than the views and arguments of 
the writer. Liberty and equality, not yet fallen into 
disgrace, appear again and again as his guiding lights ; 
and in the knowledge of what was coming, it is not 
without alarm that one reads his fearless exposition of 
the "Effects in regular governments of corruption which 
brings back barbarism," his descriptions of despotism and 
the condition and character of the people who suffer it, 
his unsparing analysis of the former foreign dominions 
over Naples, where he points out and duly blames all 
that is contrary to justice as conceived in the common 
conscience of modern times. And the very abuses he 
reprobates, while manifestly regarding them as happily 
things of the past, are those which the next few years 
were to bring back, to be ere long the potent instruments 
of the destruction of all that for which he lived and 
laboured, in which he and such as he were to be involved 
and swept away. He describes the characteristics of a 
corrupt people : all their passions then, he says, are petty 
and feeble ; each is moved by his personal interest. The 
love of their country, of their own nation, of humanity, 
are sentiments which do not stir their feeble pulse. The 
soft pleasures of sense, the comforts and the ease of a 
quiet life, are the sole objects of these " phantoms of men," 
as he well calls them ; and then one has a glimpse of 
the noble thing he called a man. The more divine and 
inward pleasures of goodness, of liberty, of the perfecting 
of the spirit and the natural gifts are totally unknown to 
these (i.e. to the phantoms), because that inward senti- 
ment is weak in them by which" a man feels his own self, 
and those pleasures which flow from the consciousness of 
self and of the strength and energy of a man's own 

It is no less a shock, looking back through all that 
happened, to find Pagano at the conclusion of his essays 


speaking of Ferdinando IV. as the tl immortal Prince," 
to whom, seconded by his august and wise consort, it is 
reserved to carry out according to the principles Pagano 
has laid down the total reform of the national code ; 
alluding to ,him as " uniting to a gentle human heart the 
rectitude of a penetrating intelligence, illumined by the 
lights of wisdom which, by means of philosophic ministers, 
have reached the throne itself. . . . His great aims are the 
reform of the legislature, of the finances, the protection 
of arts and commerce. The sciences and the arts, of 
which we were the masters in Europe, are being claimed 
once more by us in this century. Everything promises 
that we may see once more this great and beautiful 
province of Italy restored to its ancient splendour." This 
book was published in 1783, the year of the great earth- 
quake in Calabria. 

At this same time Gaetano Filangieri wrote his famous 
Science of Legislation. Goethe, who knew and greatly 
admired him, says that he never heard him say a word 
that was not worth listening to. The friends who mourned 
his early death in 1788 lived to thank Heaven that he 
had escaped the coming of their evil day. 

Professor of Ecclesiastical Law was Francesco Conforti, 
who as Court theologian vindicated the claims of the 
kingdom to independence of the See of Rome. 

Foremost among the scientific men was Domenico 
Cirillo, heir to a name and to talents which had shed lustre 
on Neapolitan science and culture for two generations 
before him, Nicola Cirillo, his grandfather, was a famous 
physician and botanist; his uncle, Sante, a painter and 
a naturalist Domenico, born in 1739, brought up in a 
brilliant scientific surrounding, and profiting by the educa- 
tion of his uncle and by the society of learned men such 
as Nicola Capasso and Francesco Serao, became, at the age 
of twenty-one, Professor of Botany in the University of 
Naples. Before long he graduated in medicine also, and 
soon came to stand at the very front of both professions. 


Hanged, December 7, 1799. 

{To face p. 36, 


In these early brilliant years he visited France and England, 
and enjoyed the society and friendship of many of the fore- 
most scientific men of both countries. Before he was thirty 
he was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society, and the 
Philosophical Transactions of those days contain some of 
his scientific observations. Among his many connections 
with great men in other lands was a friendship and 
passionate admiration for Linnaeus, with whom he cor- 
responded. He put up a monument in his honour in his 
botanical garden, while Linnaeus honoured the enthusiastic 
and gifted Neapolitan botanist by calling a family of 
American heathers, after his name, the Cyrillce. 

Cirillo's Discorsi Accademici, published first in 1789 and 
again in 1799, are still pleasant reading, although some- 
thing of the inevitable diction-making of the day hangs 
about their polished style. Among them is a translation 
from Rousseau's beautiful description of his ideal of a 
contemplative life a description pervaded with the 
dreamy leisure of a long summer's day which evidently 
went home to every fibre of the translator's nature. 

One sees in Cirillo a man whose soul was a perpetual 
overflowing well-spring of admiration, sufficient resource 
to himself, to whom no solitude can ever be a burden. He 
feels rather that an eternity of solitude, under the open 
eye of Heaven, would scarcely give sufficient scope for the 
thoughts that rise within him when he looks into an open 
flower. He has that pure, passionate delight in Nature 
that makes the charm of Wordsworth. He delights in 
the rural moods of Jean Jacques, in Young's Night 
Thoughts, in Gray's Elegy, in Ossian ; and full to the 
brim as his life was with hard study and active labour, 
one marks that his natural disposition was always 
towards la fisica tranquillita. 

Among the Discorsi is one on the prisons of Naples, 
in which the writer tells of a visit he paid to a dying 
prisoner, and gives a horrible description of the thick 
darkness of the underground vaults, the suffocating 


atmosphere, the stench, the troops of living ghosts and 
skeletons that crowd round the unwonted apparition of a 
free man among them. Dwelling on the horrors of the 
place, and reflecting how many hundreds of innocent 
persons were here confounded with criminals, Cirillo 
inveighs against the futility and cruelty of such a system 
of repression of crime. 

Again he speaks of the hospitals ; and while Galanti and 
Bianchini have set forth the reforms attempted, Cirillo 
paints the reality which no reform ever reached. His first 
description shows us his ideal of a hospital ; his second 
tells us what they were in fact. The Bourbons, on paper, 
might pass for reformers ; but the corruption they fostered 
penetrated widely and deeply throughout all the public 
service. The hospitals were a miserable makebelieve, 
and their endowments went the same way as all the rest 
of the public money. Cirillo calls the attendants and 
nurses " a troop of insensible persons, the vilest on the 
earth, chained to the service of the miserable by their 
most wretched pay, and indifferent to the tears and 
sufferings of others." The food, he says, is such as a 
beggar might reject; the medicines are old remains of 
useless drugs ; cleanliness and air are far to seek. 

Galanti paints the same picture, and speaks of the 
Incurabili, which was the model hospital, as a pestilential 
place where simple disorders become complicated by in- 
fection, and every sort of evil accumulates and multiplies ; 
and he further brackets together prisons and hospitals as 
the cloaca of a nation. 1 

Meanwhile, at Court and in society all the talk was of 
reforms, improvements, of the advancement of science, art, 
and literature. Now it was that Eleonora de Fonseca 
Pimentel, the most gifted and enthusiastic of the ladies 
about the queen, wrote the panegyrical sonnets and other 
occasional pieces which are all that the irony of fate has 
preserved of the poetical writings of her who became one 
1 G. M. GALANTI : Nuova Descrizwne, etc.. Vol. III., p. 141. 


Hanged, October 29, 1799. 

(Attributed to Angelica Kaufmann. Front a picture in the Museum at 
San Martino.) 

[To face p. 38. 


of the leading spirits of the Republic. Her poetry is the 
cultivated and elegant Court poetry of the day, modelled 
on Metastasio full of classical allusions, appeals to the 
muses, and similar affectations then in fashion, the first 
youthful expression of a literary talent which eventually 
took a very different direction as the strong individuality 
of the writer grew to maturity. 

It was during these years that the houses of the noble 
and wealthy classes filled with costly furniture and rich 
plate and other appointments, and it became the fashion 
to collect artistic objects, pictures, jewels, books, porcelain ; 
to patronise painters and musicians, and in general all 
that might contribute to add comfort and elegance to the 
luxurious but effeminate life of the dilettante aristocracy. 

Such, all too briefly set forth, was the hopeful spring of 
Neapolitan culture, which might well have come to be the 
seedtime of real reform, but was destined to remain an 
isolated oasis in the waste of Bourbon mismanagement. 


Effects in Naples of the French Revolution, especially on the 
attitude of the queen Royal marriages Mesdames de France 
Reaction and persecution Spies Wholesale imprisonment 
Ettore Carafa ; goes to France The Rights of Man Naples 
refuses to receive the ambassador of the French Republic A 
French fleet in the Gulf Characteristic action of the queen 
The supper at Posilipo Results Secret societies Carafa; 
his arrest State trials Sentences of death Execution of De 
Deo and his companions Arrest of Pagano, of Ciaja Pre- 
parations for war against France Political shuffling. 

THINGS were thus in Naples when the great storm 
of revolution, long gathering, broke over France. 
The old despotism and the new rights of man made 
France their dreadful battle-field, the nations watching 
from far and near with intensest anxiety and admiration ; 
while every sovereign felt the Bourbon cause to be his 
own, and none more keenly than Maria Carolina, sister 
of the unwise, unfortunate Queen of France. 

The year 1790 marked an epoch for the Neapolitans, 
and saw the crumbling of all the best hopes of the nation, 
the end of their flattering dream of a golden age. 

The preceding year had seen the meeting of the States- 
General at Versailles had witnessed the destruction of 
the Bastille and the transformation of the States-General 
into the National Assembly ; and its close had seen the 
king at the mercy of the Assembly, and both practically 
at the beck and call of the mob of Paris, with the 
whole seething, surging, half-articulate, but vociferating, 
portentous mass of the nation at its back. 

Maria Carolina, reading these signs of the times by the 



dim light of her narrow royal mind, regarding the people 
in general as the natural enemies of kings, and further 
blinded by panic which left no room for reflection and 
judgment, resolved, as a beginning, to meet the approach 
of danger by a threefold alliance between her own children 
and those of her brother Leopold, who had just passed, 
by the death of his brother Joseph II. in February, 1790, 
from Tuscany to the Imperial throne of Austria. 

The king and queen went to Vienna on the occasion 
of this triple festival, in great pomp and at enormous 
expense, and remained absent from Naples many months. 
Maria Teresa, the eldest of the Neapolitan princesses, 
was married to Francis, heir to the Imperial crown ; Maria 
Luisa to his brother Ferdinand, now become Grand-Duke 
of Tuscany ; and Francesco, heir to the kingdom of the 
Two Sicilies, was betrothed to Maria Clementina, sister 
of the two Austrian princes, too young to be married 
for the present. 

This visit marked for Naples the turn of the tide which 
had been advancing so peacefully during the last twenty 
years and more. 

The Emperor was preparing to make war against the 
French, with a view to restoring the old monarchical order. 
Leopold was a good and liberal-minded man, and anxious 
to grant reforms where he understood the necessity ; but 
he was far from admitting the idea of the rights of the 
people his reforms were to be the fruit of his own royal 
sagacity and bounty conferred freely upon grateful subjects. 

The King and Queen of Naples came home in a frame 
of mind which reflected, within narrower limits, that of 
the Emperor. At Rome they had found Mesdames de 
France, the aunts of Louis XVI., Adelaide and Victoire, 
who had succeeded in escaping the fury of the Revolution, 
and now held their little Court under the protection of 
the Pope. From the two old princesses the queen heard 
new, more vivid, and more alarming accounts of the 
atrocious position of the royal family of France and of 


the outrages and insults inflicted upon them by the 
Revolutionists ; something, too, she learned of the un- 
popularity of her sister, and all coloured by her own 
personal terror and mingled with a thirst for vengeance 
which grew sharper from this time forward she laid at 
the door of the class that reads and thinks and writes. 

After the customary popular rejoicings at the return of 
the sovereigns, a Council of State was held, at which, as 
usual, the wishes of the queen overruled the nonchalance 
of the king and the prudence of his wiser councillors ; and 
it was resolved to prepare for war against France, to be 
declared when time should seem ripe. Meanwhile, short 
work was to be made of revolutionary tendencies within 
the kingdom. 

While work in the arsenals went briskly forward day 
and night, new ships were built, and new cannon, arms, 
and munitions of all kinds were prepared and got 
together. New levies of recruits were made on every 
commune, and the barons were called upon to supply 
horsemen and horses, and volunteers were hired at high 
pay, not only within the kingdom, but from Switzerland 
and Dalmatia, and many foreigners of high rank came 
to serve as officers in the new army. The queen, on her 
side, was not idle. " Such was the change in the methods 
of government," says Colletta, referring to the return of 
the sovereigns from Vienna, " that one would have thought 
there was another king in Naples and another Government." 

The queen determined to suppress pernicious opinions. 
For this end the number of police was greatly increased, 
and they were provided with headquarters in every 
division of the city, presided over by a " commissary," 
who had the faculties and authority of a judge. At the 
head of the police was Luigi de' Medici, a clever young 
man belonging to the ancient Neapolitan branch of the great 
Florentine family, anxious to get on, and not scrupulous 
about anything that lay between him and his goal. 
Besides this visible police, there sprang up at the same 

(From a portrait by Nattier in the Gallery at Versailles.) 

[To face p. 42. 


time, organised and paid by the queen, an immense secret 
force increasing from year to year as the system developed 
of spies, who infested and disturbed every rank of society. 
Harmless professors in their laboratories and lecture- 
rooms, musicians and artists in their studios, poets, lawyers, 
theologians, doctors, all who were worth anything in 
Naples, who had been working and studying in peace 
all these years, congratulating themselves upon their 
golden age and their enlightened queen, thinking no evil, 
and limiting their wildest dreams to the hope of peaceful 
progress under a beneficent royal rule, all these benevolent 
and studious persons suddenly found themselves surrounded 
by an army of prying informers ; the familiar ways of 
daily life had all at once become set with snares and 
pitfalls, and no wary walking could avail to keep an 
honest man long from falling. No group in the market- 
places, no public or private meeting, no place of amuse- 
ment, theatre, or caft> but spies were there, and reports 
of what was said and done all over the city were 
carried to the queen. The most harmless speeches were 
construed into treason ; the innocent extravagances 
and enthusiastic chatter of boys and students reached 
the royal ear as evidences of Jacobinism indications of 
conspiracy, terrible signs of coming revolution. 

The queen, convinced that it was learning that lay 
at the bottom of the distemper of men's minds, was 
especially jealous now of all that she had formerly sought 
to stimulate, and regarded all cultivated persons with 
deep suspicion. She withdrew from the Freemasons, and 
henceforth the persecution of everything that was liberal, 
were it never so harmless, became the ruling passion of 
her life. The spies, the police, the new judges (among 
whom Vanni and Castelcicala distinguished themselves 
as especially infamous), had the lives of the citizens in 
their hands, for they could put any construction they 
chose upon the simplest fact and many were the private 
grudges paid off by means of the police. " A trifle was 


enough," writes Ricciardi, 1 "to send the most respected 
citizens to prison ; a word, for instance, considered some- 
what liberal ; a sign, believed to be the token of a secret 
society ; a letter that might be construed equivocally ; 
and even a dress or a fashion copied from France. A propos 
of which," he continues, " let me record the case of Antonio 
Guardati and Anastasio Cafieri, imprisoned only for having 
shown themselves, the one in the theatre, the other in the 
street, with long trousers and the queue cut off." 

During the next years, when events in France culminated 
in the execution of the king and queen and the horrible 
massacres of those who were suspected of leanings towards 
royalty and monarchism, the prisons in Naples were 
gradually filled to overflowing with " suspected persons," 
who languished there for years without trial ; many died 
of the close confinement and the rough treatment they 
received many more remained with broken health. The 
number of these unfortunates rose to many thousands, if 
we may trust the public prosecutor, who reported to the 
king in 1794 that he held certain proof of the guilt 
of twenty thousand persons, while he put the number of 
the "suspected" at fifty thousand. 

The French shopkeepers and others who lived in 
Naples were the objects of a special persecution not 
official, but connived at underhand by the Government. 
"They lived for many months," writes Amaury Duval, 
some twenty years later, " in perpetual terrors ; they dared 
not quit their houses ; every day it was announced to 
them that in the following night all the French would be 
assassinated at a signal bell from St. Elmo. And so the 
moment darkness fell, they gathered together in the house 
of one or another of their number, whither beforehand 
they had caused arms to be carried, determined to sell 
their lives dearly. What wretched nights I have passed 
in those secret gatherings ! " a 

1 G. RICCIARDI : Martirologio Italiano dal 1792 at 1847. 
3 Mtmoires of Count Orloff, Vol. II. Note by Duval. 


The judicial and inquisitorial satellites of the queen, 
anxious to earn their pay and maintain their hold upon 
the royal favour, magnified their own fidelity and import- 
ance by constant reports of fresh conspiracies, to which 
the queen lent a ready ear, and retaliated upon the 
supposed conspirators and disaffected by arrests and 
imprisonment, and multiplied the vexatious restrictions 
and prohibitions which were gradually creating the thing 
she sought to destroy. When the reading of foreign 
books was forbidden, together with the introduction of 
French newspapers, what more natural than that every 
young fellow of spirit should make a point of dabbling 
in French philosophy, and reading in secret the French 
prints that circulated underhand, in spite of the police? 

" From the moment," says Ricciardi, " that French 
literature and French journals were forbidden, the desire 
to read them became an intolerable craving." French 
fashions were banished from the Court, and got their 
followers into serious trouble, which therefore added a 
zest to the wearing of them quite unimagined hitherto. 
We read of the queen's sending for the Duchess of Andria 
to complain that her son, Ettore Carafa, had appeared in 
the theatre of the Fiorentini in a scarlet waistcoat. The 
writer of a contemporary memoir 1 speaks with pompous 
horror of the scandalous novelties of the day : " Here," 
he writes, with some confusion of metaphor and even 

1 Anarchia Popolare di Napoli dal 21 dicembre 1798 al 23 
gennaio 1799, manoscritto inedito dell' abate PIETRABBONDIO 
DRUSCO, ed i Monitori Repubblicani del 1799 corredati di note 
del medesimo autore per chiarire la verita del fatti, a cura del 
cav. Michele Arcella, Napoli, 1884. 

The supposed MS. of Drusco is a mere plagiarism, with occa- 
sional modifications for the benefit of the Bourbons, of the Memoria 
degli Avvenimenti popolari seguiti in Napoli in gennaio, 1799, 
in Napoli 1' anno VII. della Liberta, reprinted by DUMAS among the 
Documenti which form the Appendix to the first four volumes of 
his Borboni di Napoli. The Memoria is attributed to Emanuele 
Palermo. (See B. CROCE : Studii Storici sulla Rivoluzione Napole- 
tana del 1799, Roma, 1897, pp. 35 and 81.) 


of grammar, "since 1792, when the celebrated French 
Revolution was at its height, that pestiferous seed went 
winding about ; to which end the Government kept their 
eyes well open, to hold afar off this turbulent spirit from 
these parts. . . . One can believe what precautions the 
Government took to extirpate that bad set which was 
working the desolation of the State. And how great pains 
were taken by Don Luigi Medici to banish from the 
capital so pernicious an idea, and notwithstanding an 
unlimited rigour, even in the New Theatre there were 
arrested [here let all good people's hair stand righteously 
on end!] five young rascals in long trousers who were 
glorying in their new and singular bravery." Ettore 
Carafa escaped arrest for the time because his mother 
was mistress of the robes to the queen, and his father 
the king's major-domo. 

Scientific and literary meetings were forbidden ; the 
queen's reunions were broken up ; the very fugitives from 
France, although anything but Revolutionists, were at 
times denied a refuge in the city, lest they should bring 
new tidings of the pestilent doings beyond the Alps. Of 
course, men who might not meet in public found means 
to meet in secret, and the forbidden themes of the French 
Revolution, the French Constitution, the Rights of Man, 
the philosophy of Voltaire and of Rousseau were discussed 
the more fervently in the new atmosphere of secrecy 
and danger. 

A number of young nobles and students undertook to 
print and distribute an Italian translation of the Declara- 
tion of the Rights of Man. At the head of the enterprise 
was Ettore Carafa, lofty, impatient, audacious, looked up 
to with fearful admiration by his companions because he 
had actually passed a stolen year in Paris the year 1787 
and had seen with his own eyes and watched with 
passionate sympathy the early breakings forth of the 
coming Revolution. His decorous and conservative parents, 
to complete his education, and possibly also to keep him 


out of mischief at home, for he was restive and scornful 
among the meannesses of the Court which his position 
obliged him to frequent, sent the young man with his 
tutor on a tour through Northern Italy, " in order to enlarge 
his mind." Ettore wanted to go to France, but this was 
forbidden. By the time, however, that the two reached 
Perugia, the young count had succeeded in persuading 
his tutor to accompany him to Paris. A friend was found 
to connive at their escapade by receiving and re-directing 
their letters, and the two set out. Hitherto this Ettore 
Carafa, Count of Ruvo, wealthy, elegant, and handsome, 
had found no better outlet for his overflowing energy than 
in sporting the latest French fashions and in the training 
of horses and feats of horsemanship. It is recorded of him 
that he had a horse which he had taught to mount the 
stairs of the Carafa palace at San Marcellino in old Naples, 
an achievement which he delighted to show to his friends. 
His tutor, Franco Laghezza, a man of strongly liberal 
ideas, no doubt thought these occupations a serious waste 
of power in a young man of Carafa's ability and character, 
and eagerly welcomed the opportunity of giving a higher 
direction to the uncommon ability he knew to underlie 
the restless unmanageableness of his pupil. 

Ettore came back to Naples with his mind "enlarged" 
very far beyond anything his parents had contemplated 
for him. One can fancy how he chafed and fretted under 
the thousand daily tyrannies that were curbing and goading 
all young Naples when he returned. It was at his expense 
that two thousand copies of the " Declaration " were 
printed. By night part of these were distributed through 
the streets of the city ; two copies even found their way 
into the very apartments of the queen. Many arrests 
followed, and, among other young men of the very highest 
nobility, Giuliano Colonna and Gennaro Serra di Cassano 
were imprisoned in St. Elmo ; whereupon Carafa and a 
companion, thrusting all the remaining copies into old 
sacks, and disguising themselves as porters, tramped after 


sunset through the most crowded streets, and threw them 
into the sea among the rocks of the Chiatamone. For this 
desperate achievement they were hailed by their comrades 
with enthusiastic applause, "as though they had saved the 
republic." Out of smouldering embers and harmless sparks 
like these the panic-stricken queen, seconded by Acton, 
coldly following his own interest, contrived to fan a flame 
that was never more to be put out. 

The Court of Naples in 1793 refused to receive the 
ambassador of the new French Republic ; whereupon, 
before long, a French fleet, under Admiral La Touche, 
anchored in threatening array in the Gulf, and sent on 
shore politely, but firmly, demanding explanations, and 
offering disagreeable alternatives : immediate acceptance 
of the ambassador, or war with France. The queen 
(for the Government of Naples represented little else but 
the impulses of Maria Carolina), preparing for war, and 
burning with implacable hatred, by no means relished the 
look of the enemy spread out under the palace windows ; 
and though there were manly voices in the council in 
favour of accepting the challenge and attacking the 
fleet, the queen urged immediate concession to every 
demand, declaring that the kingdom was full of Jacobins 
and revolutionists, and deferring war to a more propitious 
moment. The Government therefore renewed friendship, 
and yielded on all points. La Touche accordingly set 
sail ; but a storm forced him to put back shortly after- 
wards for repairs, water, and provisions. All young Naples 
made a point of going on board the Languedoc and the 
other French ships and fraternising with the objects of 
their admiration and envy ; they gave a supper to the 
French officers at the Villa Roccaromana at Posilipo, and 
in their enthusiasm came away each with a little red 
cap of liberty paraded on his breast. The French who 
went marauding over Europe in those days seem to 
have been always ready with tricolour cockades and 
caps of liberty for the million. This harmless supper 


actually figured in the sentences of 1799, as a kind of 
preliminary proof of general guiltiness. 1 

The queen knew very well what was going on, but 
waited with prudence until the dreadful fleet should be 
safely out of sight before venturing to take vengeance 
on the young " Jacobins of Posilipo," as they were hence- 
forth called, in allusion to the famous supper. But scarcely 
had the fleet disappeared when, under cover of night, 
many who had been in communication with the French, 
notwithstanding the fact that peace had just been formally 
renewed between the two nations, were arrested, besides 
many others said to be suspected of treason. An ad- 
ditional gloom overhung their fate, inasmuch as it was 
not known for a long time what had become of them, 
and it was whispered that they had been put to death 
in secret, or perhaps exiled to the prisons on some of 
the islands of Sicily. Later on their friends discovered 
that they were in the underground dungeons of St. Elmo 
St. Eramo, as it is called in the earlier writings of the 
time fed on bread and water, lying on the bare ground, 
each in his separate fossa, or living grave. 

It was immediately after the visit of the French ships 
that the Societti, Patriottica was formed, chiefly out of 
the debris, as it were, of the lodge of the Freemasons, 
now no longer permitted to exist openly. After about a 
year this society was dissolved, and resolved itself into 
two clubs, one called Romo (a title compressed out of its 
motto Repubblica o Morte\ to which belonged the more 
uncompromising revolutionists ; and the other called Lomo 
(from its motto Liberth o Morte\ which embraced those 
liberals who desired constitutional government, but would 
have retained the monarchy. These clubs were mere 
nurseries of opinion, many who were members of the 
one or the other admitting afterwards that their means 
were totally inadequate to the ends they had in view. 

1 ALFONSO SANSONE: Git Awenimenti del ijgg, nelle Due 
Sicilie. Nuovi Documenti. Palermo, 1901, p. 265. 



One of these writers, looking back in 1799, puts the 
members of the club Romo at no more than three hundred, 
and another says, "less than two hundred, and nearly 
all youths." 1 

The French ambassador Mackau seems to have patted 
all these budding revolutionists on the back and given 
them some vague encouragement a circumstance which 
did not escape the spying queen, who, with characteristic 
indifference to the sacredness of international rights, had 
all the papers at the French Embassy secretly seized, and 
searched for evidence of plots and lists of conspirators, 
but discovered nothing. 

Ettore Carafa had escaped imprisonment thus far thanks 
only to the special regard in which his parents were held 
at Court and to the influence of his uncle, the Captain 
General Pignatelli. At midsummer, 1794, however, the 
Duke of Andria died, and the king conferred the vacant 
badge and scarf of the Order of S. Gennaro upon the new 
duke. Ettore Carafa declined the proffered distinction. 
The queen was extremely indignant, and complained 
angrily to the duchess, reminding her at the same time of 
her son's preference for French fashions and other grave 
misdemeanours. The duchess took her son to task, and 
endeavoured to force him to accept the badge. Carafa 
declared that his heart and his conscience forbade him to 
accept distinction from a hateful and tyrannical Court. 
They argued long and hotly, and parted in great anger 
on both sides. Carafa, in a passion of violent rebellion, 
strode down into the chapel hard by, where ancestors of 
his house lay buried, seized a brush and paint that came 
to hand, and with a few hasty strokes blotted out the 
armorial bearings of the Carafa with one mass of black. 
He felt himself a man, and knew that no gilding laid on 
by royal hands could add one jot to that manhood ; he 
would have none of it, neither borrowed from his dead 
forefathers nor presented to himself. 

1 B. CROCE : Studii Storici, etc., p. 238 


After this it was only a matter of time, and in August 
the blow fell. Driving one day to Portici with his younger 
brother Carlo, Carafa fell asleep, and woke suddenly to 
find the carriage surrounded by armed police, who arrested 
him in the king's name. Resistance was useless, and he 
had barely time to embrace his brother, whispering to 
him to hurry home and burn every paper he could find, 
before his captors hurried him away to St. Elmo. 

Then, as later, timely bribes could effect a good deal in 
Naples, and Carafa, one of the richest of the Neapolitan 
nobility, soon enjoyed, within the walls of the fortress, a 
fair measure of liberty. It was characteristic that he made 
use of it to preach his gospel of political freedom among 
his fellow prisoners, stimulating them by the magic of his 
powerful personality into an enthusiasm which he diffused 
about him wherever he went. 

Meanwhile, public opinion, feeble and half asleep as it 
was wont to be, was roused at last into something like 
indignation under the goadings of the constant outrages 
upon the liberty of the citizens. The prisons were full, 
innocent men went in daily fear of their lives, the arrests 
went on, and year after year there was no word of trial, 
no prospect of any resolution of a state of things that even 
the most ignorant and least persecuted classes began to 
find intolerable. Acton at last perceived that popular 
sympathy was likely to veer towards the political prisoners, 
and the king, who without any special sentiment of 
humanity or justice shrank indolently from taking any 
decided step, was persuaded to appoint a Giunta di Stato t 
or High Court of State, to try the prisoners. 

Looking back across a hundred years, one divines a 
glimmering of common sense at this time, a something of 
easy, surface good-nature in the king which separates him 
from the queen and her minister. Butjie has no character, 
his shallow natural virtues avail him nothing, he would 
like existence to be one prolonged battue, with intervals 
for refreshments. But they worry him with tales of 


Jacobins and conspiracies at which he is at first disposed 
to laugh. Alas ! he is not allowed to laugh. He kicks 
feebly against the constant prickings of those remorseless 
two, and we know from the letters of M. Denon, French 
chargt d'affaires at Naples, written to his superiors at 
Paris, that there were perpetual quarrels, tears, and 
" scenes " between the king and queen, with the invariable 
result that the king gave way, and let things be done in 
his name in which in reality he had at first little part or 
sympathy. "The king's first impulse is always a right 
one," wrote M. Denon, 1 "but he is afraid he may be 
mistaken, gives ear to representations, and lets himself 
be led, or gets bored." 

In the king's name, therefore, the Junta was appointed. 
It was composed of seven judges and a public prosecutor, 
all known for their severity Vanni, celebrated later on 
for the infamous injustice and cruelty of his condemnations, 
being one of them. The proceedings of the Junta were 
carried on in secret, in absolute independence of law, the 
methods resembling those of the Inquisition. The secret 
denunciations of paid spies were accepted as valid evidence, 
the accused was not suffered to speak, and the defence 
was committed to advocates appointed by the king, but 
often chosen by the queen and Acton, and was written, 
not spoken. It appears, from the latest light thrown on 
these trials, that many of the accused were also defended 
by friends ; and Mario Pagano incurred further suspicion 
by his strenuous defence of some of them on this occasion. 
The sentences were of death, imprisonment for life, or 
exile, without appeal, to be carried out immediately. In 
the autumn of 1794, after some six months spent in 
compiling the processes in one hundred and twenty-four 
volumes, the prosecutor demanded sentence of death for 
thirty of the accused, " guilty of high treason against God 
and the king," who were to be tortured first, in order 
to wring from them the names of supposed accomplices. 
1 La Jeunesse de la Reine Marie-Amtlie, p. 38, etc. 


Eventually three were condemned to be hanged before the 
Castel Nuovo, and a number of others to be imprisoned 
in the islands and fortresses for varying terms of years, 
to be followed by perpetual banishment, under pain of 
death if ever the condemned should be found within the 
boundaries of their country. 

Amaury Duval, in his valuable Notes and Additions 
to the Mtmoires of Count OrlofF, speaks of this supposed 
conspiracy. He lived in Naples at the time, and, though 
a much younger man, was a devoted friend of Mario 
Pagano. He describes the victims as a handful of the 
more cultured students, who, in conversation among them- 
selves, had possibly nourished aspirations after an improved 
form of government in their own country, while following 
with enthusiasm the course of events in France, "but 
never," he writes, "had the idea of conspiring against 
the king or of seeking to establish another order of things 
when no element of revolt existed around them, when 
they neither had, nor could have, the people on their 
side . . . never had such an idea entered their thoughts. . . . 
On the other hand, there was not the smallest reason to 
fear that the French would come all the way to Naples 
to revolutionise the country." 

On the contrary, at that moment everything pointed to 
the probability of peace with France. Even Bianchini, 
who admires the Bourbons one and all, speaks of the 
great number of young men who in those days studied 
science and literature at Naples, and says that some of 
them, inexperienced and ignorant of the condition of the 
people, thought it might be possible to change the political 
form of the government. " But they had no force either 
of soldiers, money, or public opinion ; and yet, their 
plan being discovered, the conspiracy and incitement to 
rebellion were taken to be of great importance, it being 
supposed that they were supported by secret relations 
with the revolutionists of France." These suppositions 
grew and flourished in the malignantly disordered fancy 


of the queen, and were carefully nursed and tended by all 
who saw their way to profit by the public distress. 

Even Hackert, the Court painter, observed the great 
change for the worse that came over the social and political 
atmosphere of Naples at this time, but he held his tongue, 
Goethe writes, "because all right-thinking people who 
did not take up the tone that hatred and party spirit 
had initiated, but judged reasonably and dispassionately, 
became instantly suspected, and were in danger of lan- 
guishing for years in prison without a hearing." 1 

The three young men who were now chosen at random 
among many equally harmless were literally sacrificed 
to an iniquitous experiment in terrorism. Their " con- 
spiracy," such as it was, was of so infantile and amateurish 
a kind, confined to the talk, the suits and trappings of 
conspiracy, without anything in the actual surroundings 
which could support it or give it substance, that it could 
never have been taken by cool heads to form a serious 
danger to the State. " They had no fault," says Colletta, 
" beyond aspirations, discourses, and hopes." 

The names of these three are at the head of the long 
list of the martyrs of Neapolitan liberty : Vincenzo 
Vitaliano, the eldest, was twenty-two ; Emanuele De 
Deo was twenty ; and Vincenzo Galiani only nineteen. 
They were well known in the schools for their talent ; 
otherwise unknown. Vitaliano it was who by his im- 
prudence unwittingly betrayed the existence of their 
conspiracy. Galiani, when arrested, was weak enough to 
denounce many of his companions in the hope held out 
of saving his own life. Emanuele De Deo showed a con- 
stancy and quiet heroism that left his name a beacon 
and a ,watchword to the patriots in the coming time of 
darkness and struggle. The queen, still unsatisfied with 
the enormous lists of the suspected, thought to wring 
from De Deo names of companions who might be yet at 
liberty. She sent for his father, telling him to promise 
1 GOETHE : Philipp Hacker t> " Kriegsunruhen." 


the lad life and freedom if only he would reveal the 
conspiracy and the names of the conspirators. The old 
man found his son already in cappella that is, in the 
chapel where the condemned spent their last hours, 
assisted by the Bianchi, a confraternity of Neapolitan 
priests of noble birth whose office it was to comfort and 
prepare the souls of those condemned to death. They 
were so called from their white disguise covering the whole 
person and the head and face, having only two holes for 
the eyes to look forth, similar 'to the dress of the con- 
fraternities often seen at funerals now in Naples. But 
the young man's soul was strung to heroic pitch, and 
neither the tears and prayers of his father, nor the 
promises of the queen, nor the dreadful trappings of 
approaching death were able to move him; he held 
" honour far more precious dear than life," and went 
tranquilly next day to meet his fate. 

It had been rumoured of course by those assiduous 
fomenters of trouble whom the queen's system brought 
to the front that fifty thousand Jacobins were 'going to 
rise in arms to free their companions and kill the king, 
and the royal pair were trembling at Caserta thirty miles 
away, and had given orders to surround the city with 
soldiers and to mount cannon at the head of every street, 
with instructions to fire on the people at the first sign 
of tumult. The gallows was erected within range of the 
guns of the Castel Nuovo, in the Largo del Castello, now 
Piazza del Municipio. These precautions did not prevent 
an immense crowd from gathering to see the execution. 
The first, Galiani, was already hanged, " with a humble 
and contrite heart," writes one of the monks of San 
Martino who attended the Bianchi at the execution ; and 
the second, De Deo, likewise ; and the third was about 
to be hanged when there was heard, no one knew whence 
nor wherefore, a musket-shot towards the hoarding which 
surrounded the gallows. The crowd, panic-stricken, began 
to fly in all directions, crushing and trampling upon one 


another, so that " not a few were seen to return home, 
some without shoes, some without buckles, some with- 
out wigs." Many were shot down by the troops in a 
counter-panic, and Vitaliani was hanged in an almost 
empty piazza. This incident illustrates the state of 
tension that prevailed, showing the helplessness of the 
supposed Jacobins, the terror of the king and queen, and 
the mischief that was wrought daily and hourly by the 
Government system of over-precaution and exaggerated 

In consequence of his intrepid defence of these three 
young men and others only a little less unfortunate, Mario 
Pagano was arrested and thrown into prison, where he 
remained four years. It was characteristic of his serene 
and noble nature that during this imprisonment he wrote 
a discourse " On the Beautiful," whose tranquil peace and 
purity of thought are in touching contrast with the cruel 
surroundings in which it was conceived and brought forth. 

Ignazio Ciaja, the poet whose gentle and lofty spirit 
still lives in the few poems and letters that remain of 
what he wrote, was another of the many distinguished 
men who were arrested about this time and languished 
for the next four years in prison. Ciaja was in St. Elmo, 
as appears from the date of some of his verses. From 
two letters written from prison, one to his father and the 
other to his mother, we gather some idea of the heroic, 
but by no means high-flown, frame of mind of this young 
man and of many of his companions, whose example and 
conversation, he says, recall him to his better self when 
he has been giving way to natural despondency. " Your 
letters console me," he writes to his brave father ; " the 
spectacle of courage is the loftiest a man can witness, and 
I delight the more in yours in that it becomes an example 
to me." His mother, on the other hand, was full of 
despair : " Your favourite argument," he writes half- 
playfully to her in a long letter full of manly tenderness 
and patience, " is that our hopes will always be illusive, 


because so they have been hitherto. But this is not an 
argument. You might as well say that I shall always 
be thirty, because I have been so once." He tries to 
persuade her to imagine that he is only away from her 
as he used to be, studying in Naples, and that in a few 
months he is coming to kiss her hand. " I do not 
exaggerate," he writes, " when I say that I pass the more 
part of my days in perfect forgetfulness of my ills. If you 
were to see me, I am certain that you would be surprised 
at the cheerfulness of my spirit. . . . Do not let us form 
too great a notion of ourselves. I look at our species, 
I put myself into my place, and I find myself an atom. 
Is it possible that to this atom a universe is to conform ? 
Let us give things then their value, but let us begin with 
ourselves. But I don't want to moralise . . ." And he 
breaks off and enters into the news of the home circle, with 
affectionate messages to one and another, not forgetting 
the servants. 1 

If the Jacobins and persons in sympathy with the 
French Revolution had hitherto been few and of little 
account, every new act of oppression now increased not 
their number only, but the strength of their convictions. 
Innocent blood had been shed, thousands of innocent 
persons languished in prison and lay always in danger of 
their lives, and it was inevitable that indignation should 
range upon the side of the oppressed all that was best 
in Naples. When the queen began her persecutions it 
may be fairly said that there were no revolutionists in 
Naples ; in a few years all the flower of her subjects were 
ranged against her, and saw no hope but in France. 

At the end of the four years, in 1798, when Joseph 
Dominique Garat was ambassador at Naples, he wrote to 
Talleyrand, "As for the prisons, they are filled, as every- 
one knows, with men who either entered them as, or 

1 VITTORIO SPINAZZOLA: Gli Avvenimenti del 1799 in Napoli, 
da nuove ricerche e documents inediti del Museo di S. Martina. 
Napoli, 1889, p. 133, et seq. 


in them have become, revolutionists ; it is universally con- 
sidered in this country that they are the most enlightened 
men in Italy." Garat was the man who had notified to 
the unfortunate Louis XVI. his sentence of death, and 
had since been Minister . of Justice. Needless to say that 
the Neapolitan Court hated him with a deadly hatred, 
at which one cannot wonder. 

During these years, while combating, according to their 
system, all sympathy with France within the kingdom, 
the queen and her minister were unremittingly pushing 
forward their preparations for war. For the disposing of 
men's minds the queen relied on the priests and on their 
absolute dominion over the masses. Inspired by one 
common personal apprehension, and subsidised lavishly by 
the queen, priests and monks, from confessional, pulpit, 
and street corner, spread with the utmost diligence and 
conviction the doctrine that the French were breakers 
of all laws, human and divine, robbers, assassins, infidels. 
Lovers of things French were to be held as Frenchmen, 
unfit to live ; crimes against such were to be crimes no 
longer, but virtues. These evil counsels were the seed of 
infinite disaster. The people were taught that all their 
heavy burdens, taxes, scarcity of food and money, the 
taking of their sons to swell the new regiments all this 
was .owing to the French. Full of real grievances, the 
people cherished a hatred against the French, sanctioned 
by all they held holy and by their own fears, which was 
one day to cost them very dear ; and if it scarcely served 
the cause it was bred for, it was because they were deserted 
in the day of trial by those who had urged them on. 
Amaury Duval tells how " a kind of semi-religious chants 
\des especes de cantiques\ used to be sung in the streets, 
provoking men to murder and assassination? . . . The 
Neapolitan Court," he goes on to say, "excited the 
populace . . . which always ranges itself on the side 
of those who persecute," and, he should have added, 
"of those who pay." Tumults were frequent, especially 

(From a portrait by Nattier in the Gallery at Versailles.) 

[To face p 58. 


on saints' days, when there were processions, and crowds 
gathered together; on these occasions the least dis- 
turbance would excite a panic, because of the general 
tension, and then thieves and mischief-makers profited 
by the scrimmage. 

The new regiments, meanwhile, were collected in camp 
at San Germane, near Monte Cassino. In the diary of 
Marinelli a doctor full of moderation and good sense 
(who kept a journal in those days) we read day by 
day of the different regiments leaving for the camp ; of 
the king's being there ; of the queen's going backward 
and forward between Naples, Caserta, and the camp. 
Acton also goes, and it is characteristic of his astound- 
ing incapacity that presently we read : " Owing to the 
bad air of the place, and the soldiers being badly 
lodged and worse clothed, an epidemic made havoc 
among them. Over sixteen thousand perished. There 
remained only a few to guard the spot." 1 One day 
he speaks of seven hundred volunteers passing on their 
way to the camp, armed with iron-tipped staves. " After 
two days a part of these volunteers returned in confusion 
to the city, it is said, because of a skirmish between them 
and some regiments of veterans, for insulting words said 
in Aversa. Perhaps," adds cautious Marinelli, " perhaps 
there was some cowardice." Probably the " veterans " 
had made merry over the primitive weapons of the 
volunteers. In Marinelli's pages one breathes the very air 
of those years. There are perpetual rumours, alarms, 
arrests, false tidings ; perpetual arming, and calls upon 
the people to come to the aid of their king against the 
French ; a priest is arrested one day, and it is said that 

1 Popular report is apt grossly to exaggerate in the matter of 
numbers, from the common incapacity to appreciate their value 
beyond a very narrow limit ; sixteen thousand is therefore probably 
an over-statement. Colletta, however, who was an officer, and 
competent to deal with figures, puts the number of deaths at ten 
thousand. (See COLLETTA: Storia, etc.) Vol. I., Lib. III., Cap. 22.) 
The epidemic was probably typhoid. 


the archbishop has taken no breakfast because this 
was his favourite chaplain. There comes a report that a 
Madonna at Rome has opened its eyes, whereupon " the 
Neapolitans, being unwilling to fall short of the Romans, 
on the 1 9th of July, on a Tuesday, 1796, it was said that 
the Ecce Homo situated in the street of Forcella had 
opened its eyes. This was an illusion of the faithful . . . 
nevertheless in these days there was a furore among the 
populace of Madonnas and Christs that opened and shut 
their eyes. Wherever there was a Saint they looked at 
its eyes." 1 

At last, after all these preparations for war and the 
useless and stupid sacrifice of thousands of men, on 
December 9th, 1796, comes a courier from Paris with 
the ratification of peace with France. On the nth 
a solemn Te Deum is chanted in the Duomo for the 
peace, and on the Monday all the city rejoices, and 
Marinelli notes with pride that " the city " i.e. the 
ancient municipal body, " received a despatch apart." 
"It is certain," he adds, " that the people encamped 
at S. Germano, for the discomfort and the malaria, have 
nearly all perished. Some say to the number of fifteen 
thousand, and some twenty thousand. The desolation 
was universal for so great a loss, and for those who 
had lost many of their kindred." 

The peace referred to by Marinelli was the occasion 
of the recall of four Neapolitan cavalry regiments from 
Lombardy, where they had distinguished themselves 
fighting with the Austrians against the French, but had 
at the same time conceived a great admiration for 
Buonaparte, which admiration the young Neapolitan officers 
brought home with them. 

1 The Abate Benedetti, at Rome, noted the event in his diary for 
July ;th. " The princess writes that the Madonna at the corner of 
the palazzo Bonaccorsi has opened its eyes. I should like to see 
who would not open them in these times ! " (Vorrei vedere chi 
k che non raprisse di questi tempi!"} The comment is truly 


Nevertheless, preparations for war went on as before, 
just as if no peace existed ; and in concert with the Pope, 
Pius VI. (also ostensibly a sworn friend of France, but 
equally indifferent to his engagements), the king proceeded 
quietly to occupy territory on the Roman frontier. But 
French threats, supported by the marvellous and rapid 
successes of Buonaparte in the north, soon reduced the 
Pope to new protestations of friendship and the king 
to abject prayers for peace. 

The terms were sufficiently humiliating: Naples was 
to pay the Republic 8,000,000 francs, and all French 
subjects imprisoned for their opinions in Naples were to 
be set free. The French agreed to give no countenance 
to revolutionary movements in South Italy, and nothing 
was said about the Neapolitan prisoners of State. This 
was a bitter disappointment to the prisoners, who, more 
or less in touch with all that went on in the outer world, 
had set their hopes on the help of France that help 
which was to fail them again and again in their hour 
of need. 

Colletta says that the last two clauses were secret, and 
were obtained by means of bribes and presents to the 
amount of another million of francs, paid, of course, 
ultimately, by the over-burdened Neapolitans. 

And so arrests went on with impunity. M. Trouve*, 
Secretary of Legation at Naples under General Canclaux, 
writes to Talleyrand on July 26th, 1797: "They have 
just arrested, imprisoned, and transported to the Isle 
of Ustica, near Sicily, a young man, a great lover 
of music, who has never troubled himself about politics, 
because he was intimate with a celebrated French 
artist, the citizen Krentzer. They had surrounded him 
with spies. As he objected to being followed, they seized 
that as a pretext, and his process has been carried 
out in twenty-four hours. There is such a dread of 
being met in French company that the consul of the 
United States himself told us that he did not dare 


invite us to his reunions, lest his house should be 
instantly deserted." l 

This kind of nominal peace was maintained up to the 
autumn of 1798, but it was nothing more, and deceived 
no one. Meanwhile, Buonaparte, having intercepted proofs 
of the Pope's bad faith, seized the occasion for sending a 
French army into Rome, and occupying the three lega- 
tions, as it were to keep the peace. In Rome, as else- 
where, there was constant hostility between the patriots, 
or Republican party, and the supporters of the old clerical 
order. In spite of new pretences of peace, tumults broke 
out and were encouraged in the city, and certain patriots 
fled for refuge into the French Embassy. They were 
pursued by the populace inside the palace, where, by all 
law, they were safe. General Duphot was killed there, 
and even the French ambassador, Joseph Buonaparte, 
was threatened. Letters of remonstrance addressed by 
the ambassador to the Papal Government remained un- 
answered, with the result that the French left Rome, and 
war was openly declared. In less than a month General 
Berthier, refusing to receive the Pope's ambassadors, 
or to listen to the representations of the Courts of 
Vienna, Spain, and Naples, again entered Rome. On 
February I5th, 1798, the Roman Republic was proclaimed, 
and the Pope, eighty years old, was escorted by French 
cavalry out of Rome, whither he never returned, but 
died in France a prisoner of the Republic. 

Of the priests and cardinals and other persons who 
had been of note in the late order of things, the greater 
number fled to Naples, where their presence tended to 
deepen popular sympathy for the clergy, and to feed 
the hatred against France. 

1 La Jeunesse de la Reine Marie-Amelie, p. 114. Observe 
also the queen's characteristic maxim in a letter to Lady Hamilton, 
July, 1799 : " Homme qui craint 1'espion est signe qu'il fait quelque 
chose de douter." R. PALUMBO : Maria Carolina, Regina delle 
Due Sicilie, Suo Carteggio, con Lady Emma Hamilton. Napoli, 
1877, p. 210, 


Berthier now sent a messenger to the Government of 
Naples demanding the exile of the French refugees, the 
dismissal of the English ambassador, and the expulsion 
of General Acton the English being at that time among 
the chief enemies of France and by far the most potent 
allies of the King of Naples. Berthier further pointed 
out that the king, having formerly paid tribute to the 
Pope, now owed the same to the Roman Republic, and 
requested the immediate payment of 140,000 ducats of 
arrears owing. He did not add, but Ferdinand heard 
the news by other channels, that the Farnese estates 
belonging to the King of Naples had been seized as 
property of an enemy. Rumours reached Naples at the 
same time that the fleet, lately of Venice and now of 
France, having taken Malta (of which Ferdinand was 
the suzerain), was preparing to attack Sicily. 

These blusterings led for the present to no open rupture. 
Ferdinand entered into closer alliance with England, 
Austria, Russia, and Turkey, all bent on checking the 
power of France, and went on recruiting soldiers by 
every possible device. 

Whether it was owing to some temporary pressure of 
fear of France, or some fleeting perception that it was 
dangerous in present circumstances altogether to alienate 
the sympathy of the richer classes, certain it is that in 
the summer of 1798 the Marquis Vanni fell into disgrace 
and was relegated to his own lands in Abruzzo, and a 
certain number of the political prisoners were set free. 
Marinelli notes a report that their liberation was due 
to French pressure, and possibly it was the price of some 
temporary advantage to the shifty Court of Naples. It 
was now that Pagano, Ciaja, Fasulo, the young Colonna 
and Cassano were set free. Carafa had escaped from 
St. Elmo the year before by means of a heavy bribe 
to his guards, and had joined the French army in the 

These are the people alluded to by Jeaffreson as "a 


number of persons who had been convicted of political 
offences against Ferdinands government? 1 and then he 
quotes the following very characteristic comment of Lady 
Hamilton, writing to Nelson : " The Jacobins have all 
been lately declared innocent, after suffering four years' 
imprisonment, and / know they all deserved to be hanged 
long ago ; and since Garat has been here, and through his 
insolent letters to Gallo, these pretty gentlemen, that had 
planned the death of their Majesties, are to be let out on 
society again." As we have seen, not one of these people 
had so far been convicted of any offence at all ; there was 
nothing to show that one of them deserved to be hanged, 
nor ever was there discovered the smallest evidence that 
one of them had ever dreamed of " planning the death of 
their Majesties." 

Now came a very brief period when the liberals of 
Naples began to breathe a little more freely, and then 
the terror closed round them once more. 

1 See JOHN CORDY JEAFFRESON : Lady Hamilton and Lord 
Nelson. London, 1888, Vol. I., p. 325. The italics are mine. 


War suddenly resolved upon Effect at Naples of the battle of 
Aboukir Lady Hamilton ; antecedents Nelson's hatred of the 
French ; his arrival at Naples ; extravagant rejoicings in his 
honour ; he urges on the war ; perceives the corruption in the 
public service Lady Hamilton's position in public affairs 
Popular feeling Public distress The wretched army Mack 
Marchese di Gallo Nelson adopts the Bourbon-Hamilton 
opinions ; is deceived by the Court War The march on 
Rome Fiasco and flight Advance of the French Sentiment 
in Naples Royal terror Massacres Flight to Palermo 

THE burning impatience of the queen to inflict a blow 
on the French was tempered, and her desire for action 
hampered perpetually, by a most feminine timidity in 
curious contrast to the aggressiveness with which it went 
linked, and not always in proportion to the events which 
occasioned it. She cannot resist persecuting the French 
in Naples and insulting the ambassadors, but she will 
swallow any humiliation the moment France shows signs 
of active resentment. She gathers her rabble army and 
fondles the enemies of France, but pretends always to 
be observing the peace, and makes the most barefaced 
denials of her hostile intentions, which only served her 
purpose because France was in no hurry to carry her 
arms so far south. 

At last, after years of dallying, behold the great step 
taken ! The moment should then be indeed propitious ! 
Not at all. Winter is coming on ; the roads are almost 
impassable for mud after heavy rains ; the Emperor has 
most steadily and explicitly refused to move before spring 

65 5 

66 THE CRASH [Ch. 

cannot move, indeed, because of the snow and unusual 
severity of the season. The Neapolitan army, moreover, 
is barely recruited, by no means drilled nor provisioned ; l 
the artillery has to be drawn by oxen (of all creatures !) ; 
the obedience of the unwilling soldiers the queen considers 
doubtful their courage more doubtful still. Nevertheless, 
war is almost suddenly resolved upon. 

What lay at the bottom of the queen's access of spirit ' 
and decision was the arrival of Nelson at Naples, fresh 
from his splendid victory at Aboukir, where he had 
destroyed the French fleet, leaving the redoubtable 
Buonaparte safe in Egypt with an army of twenty-three 
thousand men, unable to interfere for the present on 
Italian soil. 

The queen was almost beside herself with joy when 
Captain Capel, forerunner of Nelson and bearer of 
despatches for England, brought the glorious news to 
Naples on September 3rd, 1798. "What Happiness, 
what glory, what a Consolation for that unique, great 
and illustrious Nation," 2 she writes in French, with many 
capitals and neither stops nor accents, to her friend Lady 
Hamilton on the evening of the glorious day ; " How 
obliged and grateful I am to you. I live again Embrace 
my Children my husband. These news have given me 
life." And Lady Hamilton wrote upon the letter : 
"Received monday evening Sept 3rd 1798 the happy 
day we received the joyfull news of the great victory 
over the infernal French by the Brave gallant Nelson." 

The queen never alludes to the French without an 
epithet : " ces coquins de Fran^ais," " ces monstres nos 
voisins," " les infames Fran^ais," and so also Lady 
Hamilton : " cursed France ! " " the infernal French ! " 

1 There is an unpublished despatch, dated October 7th, 1798 just 
two days before Mack's arrival ordering the purchase of shirts, 
sheets, and mattresses for 30,000 men who were to march within 
six weeks. See CONFORTI : Napoli dalla Pace di Parigi, etc., 
p. 206. 

1 R. PALUMBO : Carteggio, etc., p. 176. 


This is that Lady Hamilton who had written in the 
spring of 1795 to her old lover Mr. Greville : "Send me 
some news, political and private; for, against my will, owing 
to my situation here, I am got into politicks, and I wish 
to have news for our dear much-loved Queen, whom I 
adore. Nor can I live without her, for she is to me another 
friend and everything. If you cou'd know her as I do, 
how you wou'd adore her ! For she is the first woman 
in the world ; her talents are superior to every woman's in 
the world ; and her heart is most excellent and strictly 
good and upright. . . . She loves England and is attached 
to our Ministry, and wishes the continuation of the war as 
the only means to ruin that abominable French council." 

As fate would have it, here was another irresponsible 
foreign adventurer pursuing her own pleasure and advan- 
tage with a cool head and cool heart among issues whose 
high import it was not in her to conceive. Daughter of 
a Welsh blacksmith, and of extraordinary beauty, Amy 
Lyon, who later called herself Emma Hart, had come in 
her early teens to London, been a nursemaid for a time, 
and become the mother of an illegitimate child before she 
was seventeen. After this she became in turn the mistress 
of various gentlemen, until she fell into the hands of the 
Hon. Charles Greville, with whom she lived, as his mistress, 
for several years, and appears to have been as much 
attached to him as it was in her shallow nature to be. 
To him she owed the beginnings of an education which, 
with the accomplishments attained by lavish expense and 
assiduous study later on, enabled her to pass muster in 
the by no means fastidious surroundings of the Bourbon 
Court at Naples. When eventually he had to choose 
between his beautiful mistress and his worldly ambition, 
Mr. Greville chose the latter ; and when his uncle, Sir 
William Hamilton, British Ambassador at Naples, came 
to London, and showed himself enchanted with the beauty 
of the girl who stood in the way of his nephew's settle- 
ment in life, Greville professed himself ready to be relieved 

68 THE CRASH [Ch. 

of his toy, and at the same time confided to his uncle his 
financial embarrassments. 

Sir William was a widower and childless, and Greville 
hoped to be his heir ; so that among the interests 
brought to bear upon this transaction, not the least 
powerful was Greville's perception of the fact that it 
was to his own future advantage that his uncle should 
enter into a relation which would probably prevent his 
marrying again. While the poor girl was apparently 
kept in ignorance of how she was to be disposed of, the 
two aristocratic connoisseurs made a friendly agreement 
which resulted before long in improved arrangements 
with Mr. Greville's creditors, and his being named heir 
of Sir William Hamilton's Welsh estate. 1 Sir William 
returned to Naples, and was followed thither before long 
by Emma Hart and her mother, who were to be his 
guests, the ostensible plan being that the girl should 
study music and otherwise improve her education in 
expectation of Mr. Greville's coming later on to fetch 
her back. 

During the next few months it gradually dawned 
upon the girl that her lover had played her a trick, 
and the letters she wrote to him under the first bitter- 
ness of this impression are full of a genuine womanly 
affection and indignation that win her for the time all 
the reader's sympathy. However, when she fully under- 
stood that Mr. Greville had betrayed her, and was by 
no means to be brought back, she did what under all 
the circumstances it was certain she would do became 
the mistress of Sir William Hamilton, with, moreover, the 
determination to win her way to a legitimate position 
as his wife. She threw herself with unremitting energy 
into the study of singing and music, dancing, drawing, 
Italian and French, in all of which her great natural talent 
enabled her to make astonishing progress. In six months 

1 J. C. JEAFFRESON : Lady Hamilton and Lord Nelson. London, 
1888. Vol. I., Chap. vi. 

(From a portrait by George Romney in the National Portrait Gallery.) 

[To face p. 68. 


she was writing love-letters to Sir William : " One hour's 
absence is a year . . . my friend, my All, my earthly 
Good, my Kind home in one, you are to me eating, 
drinking and cloathing, my comforter in distress. Then 
why shall I not love you ? " These words paint the 
woman and her ideals, and nothing can add a missing 
touch to the picture. Five years of most assiduous self- 
schooling, during which she never lost sight of her great 
object, brought her to her goal. " Her influence over 
him," wrote a friend to Mr. Greville in 1791, "exceeds 
all belief. His attachment exceeds admiration, it is 
perfect dotage." That summer Sir William Hamilton 
married her, and from this time she became intimate 
with Maria Carolina, with whom she maintained a con- 
stant correspondence, even at times when they were 
seeing each other every day. 

Lady Hamilton was a born actress, and took on 
readily a good deal of superficial education, while the 
vulgarity of her mind and her total absence of real 
culture were no drawback in the corrupt and dissolute 
society in which she was for many years a very brilliant 
star. Perhaps she really adored her " dear, much-loved 
queen," as she calls her ; there was nothing in Emma 
Hamilton to make it impossible or even difficult to admire 
Maria Carolina. The queen, on her side, saw every 
reason to attach to herself the beautiful, impressionable, 
unscrupulous woman, whose influence over the English 
ambassador increased as years went on, till at last, as 
Nelson wrote to the queen in 1804, "Your Majesty well 
knows that it was her capacity and conduct which 
sustained his diplomatic character during the last years 
in which he was at Naples." Lady Hamilton's letters 
exhibit a na'fve self-complacency in her own unique 
position which is not surprising, but, taken with the 
contents and tone of her letters generally, would lead one 
to tremble for the results of her light-hearted, amateur 
interference in serious matters. 

;o THE CRASH [Ch. 

If Maria Carolina feared and hated the French, Lady 
Hamilton threw herself energetically into all the fears 
and hatreds of her friend ; and when Nelson arrived with 
the victorious English fleet at Naples, they found him 
animated by a hatred as deadly as their own, backed 
up by a power and decision which rendered him a very 
god for their occasion. " Down, down with the French ! " 
was his constant prayer. For him, as for the gross of 
the British public in those days, the French were " unbe- 
lievers " ; he calls them " infidels, robbers, and murderers " ; 
his " blood boils at the name of Frenchman." He considers 
them " enemies of the human race," and himself in some 
sort an instrument in the hand of God for their just 
destruction. " I wish them to perish in Egypt," he wrote, 
"and give a great lesson to the world of the justice of 
the Almighty." His advice to a young midshipman was 
characteristic : " You must hate a Frenchman as you do 
the devil." " I hate a Frenchman," he says with fierce 
personal passion ; " they are equally objects of my detesta- 
tion whether royalists or republicans : in some points, I 
believe, the latter are the best." So that the sentiment 
was not purely a political one. 1 Again, speaking of 
the French army in Egypt, after Aboukir : " I have little 
doubt but that Army will be destroyed by plague, pestilence 
and famine, and battle and murder, which that it may 
soon be, God grant." And again, writing to Mr. Wyndham 
in March, 1799: "Thank God, the plague has got into 
both the French Army, and into their Shipping God 

1 Nor indeed a religious one. Observe the curious letter to 
the English Consul-General at Tripoli, Despatches^ III., p. 301, 
where Nelson boldly asserts that he feels it his duty to " defend 
the Mahometan faith against all who assist the French in striving 
to destroy it/' and says that the English are "supporting the 
Grand Signior and the Faith against atheists, assassins, and 
robbers." In response to this letter, the Bey of Tripoli very 
naturally styled the English "the saviours and protectors of 
the Mahometan faith," as long as the British man-of-war was 
in sight. 


send it may finish those miscreants ! " l His frame of 
mind is that of Samuel " hewing Agag in pieces before 
the Lord " : " His all-powerful hand has gone with us 
to the Battle, protected us, and still continues destroying 
the unbelievers." His ferocity is most devout, but his 
God is at most but the God of the Briton bold ; at times 
He dwindles, as we shall see, to the special patron of 
Nelson alone, no greater than the little lead Madonna 
inside the brigand's cap. 

On September 22nd the Vanguard came in sight, with 
two or three other ships of the English fleet ; and the 
English Ambassador, accompanied by Lady Hamilton and 
followed by the king, with music and every imaginable 
display of rejoicing, sailed out to meet Nelson in the 
Gulf. The bands had learned Rule Britannia and See the 
Conquering Hero Comes for this occasion. Lady Hamilton 
not all unprepared, one may imagine, in the three 
weeks that had elapsed since the result of the battle had 
been known at Naples " flew up the side " and threw 
herself upon the hero's breast had to be carried fainting 
to a seat, and burst into tears. The simple-hearted Nelson 
wrote to his wife that it was " terribly affecting." Then 
came the king to wring his hand and call him his deliverer 
and preserver, while shouts went up in his honour from 
an immense concourse of spectators in the barges that 
crowded near. 

Although Naples was technically at peace with France, 
the fact was completely ignored, as usual, and the 
English ships were harboured and provisioned, while 
the officers were feted and entertained everywhere; and 
Nelson became the object it is not too much to say the 
victim of an intentional and systematic adulation which 
evidently palled a little upon him before the poison of that 
corrupt atmosphere entered into his moral being. The 

1 SIR NICHOLAS HARRIS NICOLAS : The Despatches and Letters 
of Vice Admiral Lord Viscount Nelson, with Notes. London, 
1845. Vol. III., pp. 109, 277. 

72 THE CRASH [Ch. 

king presented him with a splendid sword, the queen with 
a diamond ring. Wherever he went, the lazzari^ instructed 
in their part, and encouraged by presents from the queen, 
thronged about him with cries of Viva Nelson / Viva il 
nostro liberatore / The Hamiltons spent enormous sums 
upon magnificent entertainments in his honour, where 
every guest wore a button or a ribbon marked with the 
letters of his name and the words, " Glorious first of 
August, 1798." Poetasters were paid to write verses in 
praise of the hero. 

But Nelson had still his healthy English instincts alive 
within him, and was eager to be gone, foreboding possibly 
a danger to himself in the " country of fiddlers and 
poets, whores and scoundrels," as he called it from his 
observation of the Court and the royalist circles which 
had striven to do him honour. " Nothing shall again in- 
duce me to send the squadron to Naples," he wrote on 
September 28th to Lord St. Vincent, " whilst our operations 
lie on the Eastern side of Sicily ; we should be ruined with 
affection and kindness." And again, on his birthday, to Sir 
James Saumarez, " Never again do we come to Naples ; 
besides the rest, we are killed with kindness." By 
October 4th he has looked his danger in the face and 
recognised it : "I am writing opposite Lady Hamilton," 
he writes, with a sort of youthful effusiveness quite new 
to his reader, " therefore you will not be surprised at the 
glorious jumble of this letter. Were your Lordship in my 
place, I much doubt if you could write so well ; our hearts 
and our hands must be all in a flutter : Naples is a 
dangerous place, and we must keep clear of it." Alas ! 
he was not to be allowed to keep clear of it. The Court 
felt their courage ebb the moment he was out of sight, 
and it is probable that Lady Hamilton, in laying herself 
out to attract and chain the guileless and susceptible 
admiral, was not actuated merely by the political motives 
of the queen, but saw a possible future advantage in 
having one of the greatest men in Europe at her feet, 

(From the oil-painting in the National Portrait Gallery.) 

[To face p. 72. 


and she had no intention of letting him go very far 
from her side. 

After Aboukir, Nelson's immediate preoccupation was 
Malta, and he did not cease to importune the Neapolitan 
Government for active assistance ; but he found it im- 
possible to obtain prompt action. He was, however, 
furnished with a list of officers whom the Government 
professed to have sent to Malta with supplies for the relief 
of the Maltese. When Nelson returned thither in the 
middle of October, he found that no supplies had ever 
been sent, and no officers had yet been heard of. Early 
in November he came back to Naples, and, astonished to 
find nothing decided, much less anything done, he urged 
again the immediate taking of the field against France. 
Considering that he was not at that time blind to the 
corruption that prevailed, and that samples of the duplicity 
of the Court were constantly before his eyes, it seems 
strange that Nelson had so few misgivings in pressing 
on the war. 

In spite of years of preparation, nothing was ready ; 
nor could any indictment against the fountain-head of 
public business be stronger than Nelson's own. Witness 
a paragraph of a letter written to Earl Spencer from the 
camp at San Germano, dated November i8th, 1798, just 
four days before the marching of the troops. 1 Nelson says 
there is evidently great disappointment at not getting 
money from England, and has seen a letter of the night 
before from the queen to Lady Hamilton, " full of the idea 
that money was indispensable, and desired her Ladyship 
to shew it to me, and that I would say what I saw. That 
I can do very soon. I see the finest Country in the world 
full of resources, yet not enough to supply the public 
wants : all are plundering who can get at Public money 
or stores. In my own line I can speak. A Neapolitan 
Ship of the Line would cost more than ten English Ships 
fitting out. Five Sail of the Line must ruin the Country. 

1 NICOLAS: Despatches, etc.. III., p. 171. 

74 THE CRASH [Ch. 

Everything else is, I have no doubt, going on in the 
same system of thieving. I could give your Lordship so 
many instances of the greatest mal-conduct of persons 
in Office, and of those very people being rewarded. If 
money could be placed in the Public chest at this moment, 
I believe it would be well used ; for the sad thing in this 
Country is, that, although much is raised, yet very little 
reaches the Public chest. I will give you a fact : when 
the Order of Jesuits was suppressed in this Country and 
Sicily, they possessed very large estates. Although these j 
with every other part of their property, were seized by 
the Crown, yet to this moment, not one farthing has 
reached the Public chest. On the contrary, some years 
the pretended expense of management was more than the 

Nelson would have had Naples begin the war in 
September, when the season was favourable even to the 
Austrians, and the French would have had less time to 
increase their force in the south. In his opinion it was 
certain that the French were preparing to attack Naples, 
and it was under this impression that he gave the hesitating 
king his famous advice : " Either to advance, trusting to 
God for His blessing on a just Cause, to die with rtpee 
a la main, or remain quiet and be kicked out of your 

In this matter of the imminence of the French attack 
it appears that Nelson was mistaken or misinformed, at 
least if we may trust the declarations of the French 
generals. General Macdonald in his Souvenirs} after 
giving the relative numbers of the two armies, and putting 
that of Mack at forty thousand and his own at ten to 
twelve thousand men, says : " We were by no means 
threatening, and I declare that no preparation whatever 
had been made, that no order whatever had reached 

1 Souvenirs du Marechal Macdonald, Due de Tarente. Avec 
une introduction par M. Camille Rousset. Paris, 1892. [The 
Souvenirs were completed in 1826.] See note, p. 50, 


me even to threaten the kingdom of Naples." Nelson 
declared, on the contrary, and the queen constantly 
repeated it after the disaster, but without ever giving any 
proof, that the menacing attitude and active preparations 
of the French amounted to aggression, which seems a 
stretching of logic. 

Having conceived an unlimited admiration not only for 
Lady Hamilton's personal gifts, but also for her political 
talents, it was through her eyes that Nelson now looked at 
the situation, and accepted without a shred of misgiving 
all the queen's views presented to him by their beautiful 
and to him fascinating interpreter. From the date of 
Nelson's arrival Lady Hamilton becomes the intermediary. 
She carries the messages, expounds the projects, prepares 
the mind of Sir William ; confabulates now with the 
queen, now with Nelson, and acts as confidential secretary 
between the chief disposers of coming events. Sir William 
Hamilton seems to have abandoned his separate personality 
entirely to his enterprising and forward wife, who played 
her part and enjoyed her situation to the full. Adroitly 
she and the queen fanned and fondled the simple sailor's 
latent vanity, until he solemnly believed that " Italy was 
looking up to him, under God, as its Protector," and the 
sense of his own importance and infallibility grew upon 
him in the narrowness of his surroundings. 

In spite of all the supposed enthusiasm of the people 
for the war, it was found impossible to raise recruits. 
On September 1st Marinelli wrote in his diary: 

" The populace is in an uproar on account of a new 
sealed despatch, which is to be read to-morrow. It is 
conjectured that it may refer to a new forced levy of 
soldiers, and meanwhile it is feared that such a levy 
may produce disturbance in all the kingdom, and the 
Court itself fears it ... People in the Capital are laying 
in provisions for to-morrow, meaning to stay shut up in 
their houses. To-day it is impossible to buy with the 
money ; and that increases the discontent. An officer 

;6 THE CRASH [Ch. 

came to blows with one who was selling [paper] money 
for the king. 

" September 2nd ... It is known at last that the 
despatch contained a new forced levy of eight persons 
per thousand, to be chosen this very day, and depart 
[for the camp] immediately. Rigorous penalties for all 
who refuse to obey. 

"This morning came the news that a young man in 
the Vicolo dei Cristallini has hanged himself, for fear of 
being obliged to serve as a soldier . . . For the same reason 
a day or two ago another young man poisoned himself. 

" The exchange to-day is up to 30 and more per 
cent " ; and on the 3rd he reports the news of 
Nelson's victory, with a comment, added some months 
later : " This victory of the English made us so arro- 
gant as to attack the French beyond our own borders, 
which was the beginning of our disasters." 

About the same time the French chargj d'affaires was 
writing to his Government : " This Court is trembling . . . 
they boast of their army of 60,000 men, they have 
not 25,000 effective troops, and ought not to count on 
more than 10,000 capable of sustaining an attack . . ." 

Why could not Acton know this truth, which was 
clear to the business-like Frenchman ? 

" All the letters are opened at the post," writes the 
latter, describing the insupportable state of things at 
Naples ; " those that they deliver do not arrive till 
one, two, or four days afterwards. Trade suffers and 
complains." l 

The distress at Naples was already severe. The banks 
had been drained, and the paper currency was far in excess 
of the existing capital. The churches and monasteries 
had been despoiled of nearly all their treasure of silver 
and gold vessels and ornaments, and private families 
had been called upon to sacrifice, in the cause against the 
French, their plate and jewels. Heavy and ever-increasing 
1 Jeunesse de la Reine Marie- Amelie, p. 117. 


taxes had been laid upon the provinces and the capital, and 
men, horses, mules, and oxen had been withdrawn from 
tilling the land and carrying on business, all to swell 
the ranks of the great army that was preparing. The 
king was said to have contributed largely from his 
private fortune, and the queen let it be understood that 
she had sold or pledged her jewels in the same patriotic 
spirit which things were not true. 

And so the army was scraped together ; and while the 
"Philosopher" and the "Great Queen," as Nelson called 
Ferdinand and Carolina, laid by a great part of the money 
they had extorted against a possible rainy day, and other 
middle-men, of lesser rank and more modest pretensions, 
pocketed each in turn as much as he could lay hands 
on, the wretched soldiers were so badly equipped that one 
hears of their being without boots and short of clothing 
very soon after they had begun their march. The king 
himself and his staff, on their very way to Rome, were 
thirty-six hours without food or change of clothing * ; and 
the troops, from the same utter incapacity and mismanage- 
ment, were more than once three days without food. 2 The 
greater part of the men had been recruited but a few 
months, and were not soldiers in any effective sense ; they 
were, moreover, full of rancour at being forced into the 
hated service. The soldiers of longer standing were no 
whit more contented, and scarcely better disciplined, 
being accustomed to laxity and disorder ; many of these 
last had been condemned for theft by military tribunals, 
and had been pardoned by the king to fill up the gaps. 
Under the impossibility of gathering recruits from the 
free population, and seeing the shortness of the time, 
sixteen companies were raised from among the more robust 
convicts in the prisons of Sicily and the mainland. 

1 HELFERT : Fabrizio Ruffo, p. 499. See letter of Maria 
Carolina to her daughter the Empress. 

* Diario Napoletano, January 3rd, 1799. In Arch. Stor. Nap., 
xxiv. 2, p. 9. 

78 THE CRASH [Ch. 

Thus much for the men. As for the officers, this is 
what is said of them by a writer of the time in an 
unpublished manuscript preserved in the National Library 
at Naples l : " Many officers . . . had bought their com- 
missions. This sovereign [Ferdinand] in order the more 
greatly to increase his army charged various Neapolitan 
Cavaliers to form regiments of cavalry, infantry and 
chasseurs ; and in order to meet such an expenditure, 
he authorised them to sell the officers' commissions, which 
was a fatal mistake, because a crowd of good-for-nothing 
young men vied with each other in buying them, while 
with these new regiments he might have rewarded many 
and many a brave old officer, and have promoted 
many and many a non-commissioned officer and common 
soldier who deserved it, and thus he would have had a 
class of good and experienced officers, instead of a lot 
of young men who had no notion of a soldier's duty." 

Besides all these raw young gentlemen, a great number 
of Austrian, French, and German officers had commissions, 
and came to put the finishing touches to this hasty patch- 
work, and add further elements of division, discord, and 
jealousy. No wonder that " that cloud of dust dispersed 
at the first breath of war " ! 

In October General Mack arrived from Vienna to take 
the supreme command ; among his various deficiencies 
he was ignorant of Italian, and was so far from being 
able to judge of the army he was to command that, at 
a grand review at S. Germane, where he himself made 
an unfortunate exhibition of his own incapacity, he 
observed in the hearing of Nelson and of Sir William 
Hamilton that " he only regretted such a fine army 
should not have to encounter an enemy more worthy 
of its prowess ! " 

It illustrates the double dealing of the Court, that while 

1 EMANUELE PALERMO : Colpo d* occhio dei Patrioti durante la 
Repubblica Napoletana neir anno 1799, etc.> quoted in the Rivista 
Novissima, Fasc. IX., p. 361. 


the Minister for Foreign Affairs, Marchese di Gallo, was 
doing his utmost that Naples should remain on the 
defensive until Austria was ready to move, thus main- 
taining the peace with France and the treaty with Austria, 
the Neapolitan envoy at Vienna, Nicola Giansante, 
addressed his important despatches to Acton ; and when 
Nelson and the queen were still trying to overcome the 
king's reluctance to take the offensive, a private " session " 
was held at night in order to exclude the moderate and 
honourable minister whose patriotic counsels were in- 
tolerable to the league of foreigners ready to stake all the 
interests of the country each upon his own game. If the 
meeting had been called a " council," the queen explained 
to Nelson, Gallo would have had the right to be present. 
It is curious to see in Nelson's letters how completely he 
took his opinions from the queen and Lady Hamilton. 
" That Marquis de Gallo," he wrote to Lord Minto, " is a 
wretch who minds nothing but fine clothes, his snuffbox, 
and ring ; this is the best I can say of him." 1 And 
again to Earl Spencer : " He admires his Ribbon, Ring, 
and Snuff-box so much that an excellent Petit maitre 
was spoiled when he was made a Minister." 2 This is a 
mere echo, almost word for word, of what Lady Hamilton 
had written to him just two months before, 3 in a letter 
where she calls Gallo " a frivolous, ignorant, self-conceited 
coxcomb, that thinks of nothing but his fine embroidered 
coat, ring, and snuff-box ; and half Naples," she adds, with 
malicious falsehood, probably originating in the queen or 
Acton, " thinks him half a Frenchman. . . . The Queen 
and Acton cannot bear him, and consequently [he] cannot 
have much power. . . ." 

Dicta of this sort and value Nelson seems to have 
swallowed whole, provided only that they were administered 
by the queen or Lady Hamilton. Yet it was into the 

1 Despatches, III., p. 112. 2 Ibid., III., p. 137. 

* The Letters of Lord Nelson to Lady Hamilton. London, 1814. 
Vol. I., p. 181. (Lady Hamilton to Lord Nelson. June 30th, 1798.) 

8o THE CRASH [Ch. 

arms of Gallo that the king and queen alike threw 
themselves the moment the crash came, and trusted to 
him alone to try to bring help from Vienna. 1 

1 Observe, in this connection, Nelson's detestation and contempt 
for Manfredini, Thugut, and Ruffo. "Under you," he writes 
gravely to Lord Minto at Vienna (August 2oth, 1799), " I have before 
worked for the public good, for the sake of the civilised world let 
us again work together, and as the best acts of our lives, manage 
to hang Thugut, Cardinal Ruffo, and Manfredini. As you are with 
Thugut, your penetrating mind will discover the villain in all his 
actions ; there is nothing of an honest man about him : if he was 
in this room where I have told Manfredini as much, I would tell 
him the same. Their councils have been equally destructive to 
their Sovereign and to Europe ; try them before that great Court, 
and they will be found friends of the French, and traitors to 
Europe. Pardon this, but it comes from a seaman who speaks 
truth and shames the Devil. My dear Lord, that Thugut is 
caballing against our English King of Naples and his Family ; 
pray keep an eye upon this rascal, and you will soon find what I 
say is true .... let us hang these three miscreants and all will 
go smooth. ..." 

This is nothing but a reflection of the bitter spite of the queen, 
who hated Thugut for preferring any interests to those she con- 
sidered to be her own. Lord Minto must have smiled at the absurd 
diplomacy of the seaman, who forgot that his frankness in uttering 
his opinions did not give them the smallest value as long as they 
were not the fruit of judgment and experience, and he may have 
had this as well as other things in his mind when he observed most 
finely later on : " Nelson is in many points a really great man, in 
others a baby." HILDA GAMLIN: Emma Lady Hamilton, An 
Old Story Re-told. London, 1891, p. 198. 

Contrast with this advice of Nelson's a letter from Lord Minto 
to Sir Arthur Paget at Palermo, about a year later, where he 
speaks of " the restoration of Baron Thugut to a real direction of 
affairs " as the one remedy possible the only hope of maintain- 
ing a consistent and English policy. Paget Papers, I., p. 282. 
When the queen persisted, against everybody's advice, in going 
to Vienna in 1800, Paget observed: "I have some idea that she 
might as well save herself the trouble, as I apprehend that M. de 
Thugut cannot bear her." Paget Papers, I., p. 202. In fact, the 
queen was by no means wanted at Vienna ; two days before 
she arrived, when Thugut heard that she was actually at Trieste, 
s'inquietb maledettamente, and went up to see the Emperor, to 
prevent at any rate her being lodged in the Hofburg. On the stair 


Meanwhile, Nelson and Mack agreed together to place 
their confidence in Acton and the queen alone as soon 
as the war should begin. 1 

It is not to be wondered at that Nelson could not 
understand the diplomatic situation. Had he not just 
planted the Neapolitan flag at Gozo in place of that of 
the French Republic? Had not the victors of Aboukir 
just been received with the most ostentatious and ex- 
travagant rejoicings at Naples ? Were not Neapolitan 
ships helping to pursue the scattered remains of the 
French fleet ? How then could the Court of Naples still 
contrive to affect to be at peace with France ? It seems, 
however, that France herself was sufficiently disposed to 
look the other way and ignore these things for the 
moment ; but the queen was unwilling to lose her chance 
of striking a blow, and foresaw that by the time Austria 
might consent to move, England might have tired of 
waiting. Her policy was, therefore, to avail herself 
of the protection and help of the English fleet and 
the special friendship of Nelson, and to trust to events 
to force the hand of the Emperor, although he refused 
his help up to the very last. The treaty of May, 1798, 
between Naples and Vienna was strictly a defensive treaty, 
all its provisions being based on the one condition of 

he met Count Coloredo Mansfeld, who, seeing his great agitation, 
supposed some military disaster to be the cause, but was soon un- 
deceived. " Here's the last straw," said the baron ; "in a moment 
of such anxiety must needs arrive this garrulous Archduchess 
to upset the Court and the whole country." PIERFILIPPO COVONI : 
Cronachette Storiche sugli Ultimi Due Anni del Secolo Passato 
in Firenze. Firenze, 1892, p. 88. 

As for Manfredini, it was greatly owing to his pacific and 
neutral policy that there was so little bloodshed in Tuscany on 
the occasion of the coming of the French ; while we shall see 
that if Ruffo's counsels could have prevailed, no blood would have 
been shed in Naples, and the king need not have been afraid 
to return to the throne which Nelson imagined he had so 
triumphantly restored to him. 

1 Despatches, III., p. 148. 


82 THE CRASH [Ch. 

aggression on the part of the enemy. 1 The Emperor, 
in fact, always hoped in a possible maintenance of 
peace, and did not believe in the imminence of the 
attack on Naples. But it was only at the last moment 
that Nelson was undeceived : " The Emperor has desired 
the King of Naples to begin, and he will support him" he 
wrote to Lord St. Vincent on October I3th, and there 
are passages to the same effect in many other letters. But 
this was a complete fable ; there is not the smallest trace 
of the Emperor's ever having desired anything of the 
kind. It is enough to read the letters of the king and 
queen to the Emperor and to their daughter, from 
November 6th forward, 2 to see that they had no assurance 
whatever of his support, and took the precipitate step 
without being able to adduce a sufficient reason, and in 
an agony of fear nay, of certainty that if the Emperor 
should " abandon " them, they were indeed lost. Among 
other appeals to the Imperial pity, they urged the com- 
pletely defenceless state of their extensive frontier ! 
Strange confession after so many years of obstinate and 
most costly preparation ! It seems, then, that the war 
party deliberately kept Nelson deceived on this point. 

The last pretence of peace was flung away on Novem- 
ber 2 ist by a royal proclamation calling to mind the 
political convulsions in France and Northern Italy, the 
too near neighbourhood of the enemies of monarchy and 
of peace, the occupation of Malta, the capture of the 
Pope, the peril of religion. Considering these many and 
weighty reasons, the king would now lead an army into 
the Roman States, in order to restore to the people their 
lawful sovereign, to the holy Christian Church its head, 
and to his own people peace and quiet. With none but 
these benevolent objects in view, the king pretended that 
his army should not be molested on its philanthropic 

1 See, for terms of this treaty, CONFORTI : Napoli dalla ace 
diParigi, etc., p. 243. 
1 HELFERT: Fabrizio Ruffo, p. 492, et seq. 


way not even by the French ! and further invited the 
Romans to return under the dominion of law and justice, 
promising full pardon to those who had gone astray. 

On the approach of the Neapolitan army, Championnet, 
the French general, whose forces were scattered for con- 
venience of provisioning over a large area, retreated, in 
order to concentrate his troops ; and on November 2pth 
Ferdinand entered Rome. He was acclaimed, of course, 
by the populace, who hastened to attack such French 
or republicans as had remained in the city, confiding 
in the promises of the king. Of these, some were 
put to death by Ferdinand's express command ; others 
were massacred by the people and the unruly soldiery, 
who, in the name of God and religion, gave themselves 
up to licence and robbery, pillaging and spoiling, sacking 
private houses, drowning Jews in the Tiber, and committing 
all sorts of outrage. To the little French garrison left in 
Castel St. Angelo the king intimated that for every 
cannon fired he would put to death one of the sick or 
wounded French who had been left in the hospitals in 
Rome a message truly characteristic of the "good- 
natured " Ferdinand ! 

Meanwhile, the friends of the old order in Rome were 
congratulating themselves. The Abate Benedetti, 1 who 
held some small office in the establishment of the Prince 
Colonna, wrote in his journal on the eventful 29th : 

" To-day, Thursday, at last, after so many fears and so 
many disillusions, we have had a moment of satisfaction. 
The King of Naples arrived before noon. He made his 
entry solemnly on horseback, and I have had the pleasure 
of seeing riding at his side, in the midst of so many great 
generals and chief feudal lords, the prince my patron, 
grand constable of the kingdom. 

" The king was welcomed with the ringing of the 
bells, and great acclamations of the people, and has 

1 DAVID SILVAGNI : La Corte e la Societd, Romana nei Secoli 
XVIII. e XIX. Roma, 1884, 3rd ed., Vol. I. 


taken up his quarters in his magnificent Farnese 

" This evening he held a reception of all the prelates, 
the Roman nobility, and the feudal barons of the 
kingdom. . . . 

" All the palaces of the Roman princes are illuminated 
with wax lights ..." 

Imagine the trepidation amongst all these noble 
personages hastening to pay court to Ferdinand, with 
the French and their own Roman consuls barely out 
of sight and everything so sadly uncertain ! 

Something of disillusion had already crept in by the 
next day, when Benedetti wrote : 

" The architect Lovatti has been ordered to remove from 
the obelisk of the Quirinal the emblems of the republicans, 
and to put up in their stead those of the king. 

" ' And those of Pope Pius VI. ? ' he asked. 

" ' Pope, forsooth ! ' was the answer." 

Four days were completely wasted in Rome, as though 
the war were over. Messages announcing victory and 
ordering thanksgivings in all the churches were despatched 
to Naples, and others were sent to the Pope (who, 
however, was in safe custody), inviting him " to return 
upon the wings of the Cherubim " to the city defended 
by the King of Naples, " thanks to Divine grace and 
to the most miraculous San Gennaro ! " 

But the king himself was not altogether in a victorious 
frame of mind. On December 2nd Benedetti notes 
that the theatre Alibert had been decorated and 
illuminated the night before in expectation of the king, 
who did not come, to the great mortification of the 
notables and nobles who had crowded thither. Every 
day saw fresh announcements and proclamations of a 
reassuring nature for the benefit of the people : " Mean- 
while, however," notes the shrewd abate, " they have in 
readiness for his Majesty the carriages, carts, and mules, 
so as to be able to depart if occasion should be " ; 


and this is followed on the yth by the entry : " King 
Ferdinand left Rome, more's the pity, this morning for 
Albano ! . . . A bad sign, for instead of going forward, 
he goes back." 

And in fact the Neapolitan army crumbled and fell 
helplessly to pieces at every point of contact with the 
experienced veterans of France ; in seven combats ten 
thousand were taken prisoners, the proportion of killed 
and wounded being small. Cannon, ammunition, and 
baggage were abandoned, and Mack by the middle of 
December was retreating precipitately on Rome, followed 
by the French, whom he had allowed to concentrate 
their scattered regiments. The demoralisation of the 
Neapolitans was completed by this retreat, which was in 
fact a flight ; they openly accused their officers of treachery 
(not altogether without reason, it appears 1 ), and under 
stress of starvation they sacked such of their own 
convoys as they came across, and made the best of 
their way homewards in hundreds, marauding as they 

Benedetti remarks how, in the twenty days of their 
occupation of Rome, the Neapolitans had managed to 
put together the statues and pictures still left by the 
French, with the intention of carrying them to Naples ; 
and notes, with what philosophy he may, the action of 
the French on their return : " At least they will restore 
them to their owners," he hopes ; but behold a mag- 
niloquent proclamation of Championnet to his veterans, 
disposing otherwise : "... the statues and the pictures that 
you have conquered from the enemy at the price of your 
blood, are the property of the army," declares the general ; 
" I believe I meet your wishes when in your name I 

1 Aper$u historique complementaire du M6moire du General 
Bonnamy, etc., etc., by General Francesco Pignatelli (di Strongoli), 
published in Italian by B. CROCE in the Albo fiubblicato nella 
Ricorrenza del r Centenario della Repubblica Napoletana. 
Napoli, 1899, Fasc. 3, et seq. 

86 THE CRASH [Ch. 

present them to our Government These in all ages 
will serve as monuments of your glory and of your 
valour, and on entering the museums of France, as 
each one of you contemplates the masterpieces of art, 
he may say with pride : ' I too have helped to adorn 
my country."' 

" A pretty thing," comments Benedetti, " to adorn 
one's country with stolen goods ! Positively something 
to brag about ! " * 

Meanwhile, the Neapolitans had had no more leisure 
for these artistic pursuits. As the news of their disasters 
reached Rome, together with tidings of the advance of 
Champion net, the good Romans had to change front as 
best they might. Ferdinand, at Albano, was seized with 
terror, fully expecting to be made a prisoner by his own 
officers. Without waiting for further news of his army, 
and without one moment's compunction in abandoning 
the enterprise for which so much had been sacrificed, but 
which he himself had never had at heart, the king fled. 
He persuaded the Duke of Ascoli to exchange dress 
and place with him. 2 Until they found the carriage, 
the duke rode ahead and the king behind side by side 
with the Prince of Migliano Loffredo. 

The latter, to his dying day, used to relate how, as 
they galloped along, the king was trembling, and said 
to him, in inimitable Neapolitan : " Keep your knee 
stuck close to mine ! Don't leave me alone ! " 3 

1 The Romans had to content themselves with squibs. "What 
of the weather, Pasquino ? " asked Marforio. " 'Tis thieves' 
weather!" was the answer. ("Che tempo fa, Pasquino?" "Fa 
tempo da ladri.") 

2 SANSONE (Avvenimenti del 1799, *&) considers this a myth, 
on the ground that there were no French between Rome and 
Naples. But in matters of fright Ferdinand never reasoned, and 
at this time saw Frenchmen and traitors everywhere. 

8 RICCARDO CARAFA D' ANDRIA : Ettore Carafa, Conte di Ruvo. 
Roma, 1886. "Tiemme u denucchie tuje azzeccato au mio ; nun 
me lassa sulo ! " Cantu reports an epigram current at that time 


In the carriage the king sat on the left hand, quaking 
for his royal skin until he was borne safely into the 
palace at Caserta. 

The Neapolitans marched out of Rome as the French 
marched in ; and Mack, with very little righting, retired 
upon Capua, north of Naples, which was strongly fortified. 
If he had been equal to his position, and had been able 
to inspire his officers and men with confidence, he still 
had the larger army, an excellent frontier line, and the 
advantage of being on his own ground and secure of 
supplies. But he too was infected with the general 
suspicion, apprehension of treachery, and panic. With 
the example of his royal employer before him, one can 
scarcely wonder if he thought it not worth while to go 
on with the game. 

Championnet, on his own initiative, now determined to 
invade Naples, and together with Macdonald began his 
march on December 2Oth. The strong places of the 
Abruzzi fell one after another into the hands of Generals 
Duhesme, Mounier, and Rusca ; and the Neapolitans, who 
for a couple of generations had seen no war, were seized 
with unspeakable consternation. 

The king at Caserta issued an edict which, to save 
appearances, he antedated from Rome : " While I remain 
in the Capital of the Christian World to re-establish Holy 
Church, the French, with whom I have done my utmost 
to live in peace, are threatening to enter the Abruzzi. 
I shall hasten with a mighty army to exterminate them ; 
but in the meantime let the people arm, let them succour 
the Faith, let them defend their king and father who 

d Apropos of Ferdinand's flight from Rome (CESARE CANTU : 
Cronistoria delta Indipendenza Ita liana, 1872, Vol. I., p. 186) : 

Con soldati infiniti, From his native coast 

Si mosse da' suoi liti, With an infinite host 

Verso Roma bravando, On Rome marched swaggering 

II re don Ferdinando. Don Ferdinand the king: 

E in pochissimi dl And ere many days were sped 

Venne, vide e fuggl. He came, he saw, he fled. 

88 THE CRASH [Ch. 

risks his life, ready to sacrifice it in order to preserve to 
his subjects their altars, their goods, the honour of their 
women, and their freedom. . . ." 3 

The more timorous betook themselves to processions, 
penitence, and vows to the Madonna, San Gennaro, and 
other saints, the popular panacea for plagues, earthquakes, 
eruptions of Vesuvius and other chastisements of Heaven. 
" Recourse was had," writes Abate Drusco, " to the 
expedient of ordering orisons and prayers in the Cathedral ; 
but these," remarks the worthy priest, "were remedies 
too feeble for so violent an evil." 

The more energetic, stimulated by the priests, rushed 
to arms, and their example was followed by the fugitive 
soldiers, whose natural courage returned now that they 
were rid of their suspected officers and knew what they 

1 If Nelson could have understood all that went on, he would 
have seen that on the whole, even on the march to Rome, Ferdinand 
still considered himself more or less at peace with France ! There 
is no fathoming the royal logic, but the letters of the queen 
maintain the same untenable position in the most innocent way: 
" Championnet," she writes, "wrote very politely that he was 
evacuating Rome all in order not to be beaten in detail. We 
faithful (and unhappily too faithful to our engagements), in order 
not to be the aggressors, allowed them to retreat, and thus lost 
the chance of destroying or paralysing 7 to 8 thousand men, 
which would have encouraged our raw troops. We wished, you 
see, to be punctilious, and we believed in the word of those 
miser ablest The queen then relates their reverses in her own 
way, and proceeds: "you will see, that the cursed French have 
been the aggressors, and that we, unfortunately, have been but 
too complaisant. I can call the whole army and the provinces 
to witness ; it was by saying that he was retreating that General 
Rusca drew Micheroux into an ambuscade, and the other [general] 
drew Saxe on the other side ; so they were aggressors and traitors ; 
it was by this silly confidence in the word of such miserables that 
we led artillery, reserve, chests and baggage, and that all was 
lost, in a word they have been completely the aggressors." She 
calls it treason on the part of the French to have kept Castel 
St. Angelo, and a complete casus fcederis that they have " caused 
our inexperienced troops to fall into three several ambuscades." 
And then the queen proceeds to lay all the blame on the Em- 
peror ! HELFERT : Fabrizio Ruffo, p. 509. 


were fighting for. These self-constituted soldiers moved 
in hordes over the country without officers or order, fol- 
lowing the lead of the most daring among them, putting 
to death all the French they came across. Now began 
that tradition of burning, plundering, and massacre that 
took the Neapolitan populace like a madness, and is 
remembered in Naples in the popular speech to this 
day. They took Teramo, burned the bridges over the 
Tronto and the Garigliano, and contrived to carry off 
or destroy nearly all the French reserve of artillery 
which had been brought up to the frontier. The French, 
to their great astonishment, found their passage opposed 
and the country swarming with fighting-men, sprung, as 
it were, out of the soil, they knew not how. The French 
generals perceived into what a precarious position they had 
brought themselves, and saw that they had no alternative 
but to win. This they therefore disposed themselves to do. 

Ferdinand and Carolina, meanwhile, could see nothing 
clearly for terror and for the perpetual possible Jacobin 
before their eyes. Numbers of suspected officers were 
thrown into prison, and Airola, Minister of War, was shut 
up in a fortress. With everything in dissolution round 
them, the Court clung frantically to their spies and their 
police, and went on alienating with both hands all that 
was best about them ; while the vast mass of the people 
stood there in its enormous ignorance, its religious 
fanaticism, its carefully nourished hatred of anything it 
might fancy to be French, its persistent, blind loyalty to 
its wretched king a force of which no one could measure 
the full import, which friends and foes alike felt there 
was reason to dread. 

In all but these masses, who were gradually arming, 
and who, at any rate, were ready to fight for their lives 
and for the king, the prevailing sentiment was now 
secret personal apprehension : king, queen, and ministers 
trembled in their palaces ; the army of police and spies 
expected the entry of the French to be their ruin ; and 

90 THE CRASH [Ch. 

on the other hand the hearts of the political prisoners, 
of the suspected and the persecuted, were beating with 
intolerable anxiety lest, after all, the French should fail 
to enter. 

The queen was completely overmastered by terror and 
by the conviction that the fate of her sister, " les scenes de 
Varennes avec toutes leurs suites," would certainly over- 
take her if she did not succeed in saving herself and her 
family by timely and secret flight. 

The English ships in the Gulf were the great mainstay 
of her hopes in the crash which she had done her best to 
precipitate ; and the wife of the English ambassador was 
her confidante and most efficient instrument, not only in 
accomplishing a safe personal escape, but in securing an 
immense booty of pictures, antiquities, furniture, jewels, 
plate, which was all carried by night on board the English 
ships, and was followed by the complete loot of the public 
treasure, all that was left of the money of the banks, all 
that had been coined out of private plate and ornaments, 
to the value of two and a half millions sterling. 

It is said that part of the treasure had at first been 
confided to the Neapolitan admiral, Francesco Caracciolo, 
on board the Sannita, and that afterwards an order was 
given to transfer it to Nelson's ship an affront which, if 
the tradition be true, it was impossible Caracciolo should 
not take to heart Certainly the Marine was already in 
the black books of the queen for no apparent reason. 
But Nelson's letters reflect the Court opinion : " The 
state of this country is very critical," he wrote on Decem- 
ber 1 5th to Captain Ball, "nearly all in it are traitors or 
cowards. . . . Do not send a Neapolitan ship : there 
are traitors in the Marine. In short, all is corrupt." 

However secret the preparations, it was generally 
suspected that the royal family were intent on flight. 
Marinelli notes these rumours, and further reports that it 
is said that the Brigadiere Francesco Federici has spoken 
openly and roundly with the king on the sources of the 


present troubles. This may well have been true. Federici, 
who had greatly distinguished himself as colonel of one 
of the regiments that went to Lombardy, was one of the 
noble little band of officers who, a few months later, paid 
for their patriotism with their lives. 

On the 2Oth the lazzari gathered in the great square 
before the palace, demanding arms to defend themselves 
and their king, and asking leave to massacre the Jacobins 
and the French. 

Next morning early, matters became more serious. 
Ferreri, a royal courier, was arrested by the populace at 
the Molo Piccolo when about to take a boat in order 
to carry a paper to Nelson ; was stripped and dragged 
naked and bleeding to the palace square, and despatched 
before the very eyes of the king with cries of " A spy ! a 
spy ! Death to the Jacobin ! " The king, we are told, 
" disapproved with horror " of this dreadful proof of his 
people's loyalty. 1 

1 It is not so certain that the queen disapproved. " Some said," 
writes Colletta, "that that massacre had been planned to secure 
the result which followed ; others, to hide certain intrigues connected 
with Austria, known to Ferreri." 

Pignatelli, in his Aer$u historique, written in 1800, asserts 
that "Acton wrote a feigned letter from the Emperor, and 
consigned it to one of the king's couriers, called Ferreri, who 
had just arrived from Vienna. In the letter it was said that the 
Imperial troops would attack the French at all points on a given 
day. And thus there was no longer any difficulty in obtaining 
the king's consent [i.e. to begin the war]." Pignatelli's account 
of the subsequent massacre of Ferreri differs little from that in 
the Monitor e. 

In the Monitore Repubblicano for Feburary i2th, 1799, that is 
about six weeks later, the incident is attributed to secret orders 
of the queen, who, wishing to be rid of an accomplice who might 
betray secrets, and anxious for some evidence of popular fury 
which might frighten the king into immediate flight from Naples, 
let the lazzari understand that Ferreri was a Jacobin, whose 
removal would be an acceptable act of loyalty. The propounding 
of such an idea by the Monitore might be taken as mere party 
journalism and its being widely believed would be no proof of its 

92 THE CRASH [Ch. 

The queen's letters to Vienna depict Naples as in a 
state of complete social dissolution ; her one terror is the 
not being able to escape in time : " for they will not have 
us go no class," she writes in that ejaculatory, vehement 
style of hers that makes one hear and see the woman 
borne along, as she was, by the torfent of her uncontrolled 
passions and caprices ; " they want to keep us as hostages, 
and force us to make terms with those Scoundrels. . . ." 
As hostages, wrote the suspicious queen, unable to recognise 
even the most patent loyalty. Nelson echoes this notion 
of the hostages in one of his letters. 1 But the queen 
distorts, exaggerates, and over-colours the facts in order 
to justify to the Emperor a course of conduct which, as 

truth, but only of the unpopularity of the queen. What lends 
some colour to the report is a little sentence of the queen herself 
in a letter to the Emperor written at nine o'clock the same morning ; 
she speaks of great tumults and massacres, and describes the 
scene of Ferreri's death, throwing in the words j'ignore quickest" 
(" I know not who it was "). HELFERT : Fabrizio Ruffo, p. 520. 

"The body," says Marinelli, writing on the same day, "was 
carried to the steps of Santo Spirito, guarded by soldiers. I myself 
saw it towards ten o'clock in the morning." So that by ten o'clock 
the body had been taken away by soldiers, and probably had been 
identified, because the man had been sent on a royal errand in the 
early morning, when he met his horrible fate. At three o'clock, 
resuming her letter, the queen says : "the persons killed were some 
unfortunate emigres." Now one historian (ARRIGHI : Rivoluzioni 
d' Italia. Napoli, 1813. Vol. III., p. 176. Referred to by SANSONE 
in Avvenimentt, etc., p. xii.) reports that on the 20th a certain 
Peratoner, Tyrolese, and a Piedmontese, whose name has not 
reached us, were killed by the mob, under the direction of one 
De Simone, one of the most famous spies of Carolina ; and 
Marinelli says he saw, on the 2ist, a score of lazzari, armed with 
heavy sticks, dragging a poor old man to massacre him ; no writer 
mentions any emigres or French refugees. At any rate, the 
massacre of Ferreri must have been more important to the queen 
than any of these, and it is strange that she should pass it over. 
Resuming her letter on board the Vanguard, the queen writes : 
" The massacres of the Emigres continuing, the people were in an 
uproar," which was completely and intentionally false. 

1 Despatches, III., p. 210. 


her letters amply show, she felt, while persisting in it, 
to need constant apology. 

The unsuspicious and inexperienced Nelson was easier 
to deceive, and wrote : " The mob, like that of Paris, 
was bitterly opposed to their sovereign leaving the 
capital." He was too much of an outsider to be able 
to perceive that the mob was completely unlike that of 
Paris ; and where the queen drew a parallel, all honest- 
minded and clear-sighted persons drew a distinction. The 
French people knew their king was leaving them to 
fetch foreign aid against them ; the Neapolitans knew 
their beloved sovereign was only running away, and would 
fain have persuaded him to stay and lead them against 
the common foe. During the entire course of the struggle 
there is never the slightest trace of an attempt upon the 
life of either the king or the queen. 

As for the general popular sentiment, witness these 
entries, on December 23rd and 25th, in the diary of the 
sober De Nicola, who has heard of the brusque reception 
of the city deputies, the capo-lazzaro^ and the deputation of 
the Marine by the king, already on board the Vanguard : 
" That a prince who is idolised by the entire nation should 
have been heard to speak so [the king had said " he would 
only return when facts should have proved to him the loyalty 
of the Marine"], will lead posterity to believe that the 
king's trust in the Neapolitans has been ill-requited, and 
yet it is most certain that each one of us is devoted to him 
and for him would lay down his life. Who knows who has 
prejudiced him so deeply against a people most attached 
to him ! . . . Who knows whether those in whom our 
good Master most confides are worthy of such complete 
trust! . . . He is betrayed by those nearest to him, the 
English have sacrificed him, and the desire for vengeance 
that animated his wife has ruined her and us. If these 
memoirs of mine were to be read now, I should be ruined, 
yet it is affection for my Sovereign that speaks, and the 
sorrow I feel at my heart. He was adored, and now the 

94 THE CRASH [Ch. 

hearts of the Neapolitans are already alienated from 
him . . ." l 

By the help of Nelson and the Hamiltons the whole 
royal family, together with Acton, the Princes Castelcicala 
and Belmonte and other ministers, fled secretly under 
cover of darkness on the night of December 2ist. 
They left the palace by a back entrance which com- 
municated with the arsenal, and reached the Vanguard 
in safety. 

There has come down to us the journal kept by 
Caracciolo on board the Sannita during this eventful time. 2 
He notes things in the driest way, without a syllable of 
comment, at which, considering the times on which he was 
fallen and the nature of the writing, one cannot wonder, 
tantalising as it is to see the very handwriting and yet 
gain no faintest glimpse into the inner man of this 
interesting, tragic figure. Here we read how orders came 
from the Vanguard to set sail at dawn on the 22nd ; how 
violent contrary winds detained the ships in the Gulf; 
how during that day they took on board all those noble 
families and persons of the royal suite who presented 
themselves. (It does not appear that these very numerous 
persons found the least difficulty in leaving Naples, but it 
is only evident that, had the weather permitted, they were 
to have been left behind in the royal haste.) On the 
morning of the 23rd orders again came to set sail, and the 
crew being short by as many as three hundred sailors, 
they were reinforced by twenty-five English seamen. At 
ten o'clock in the morning they set sail, the Vanguard, 
Archimede, Sannita, and some twenty sail of merchant- 
men, and beat about the Gulf all that day and until 
the early morning of the 24th without being able to 
pass Capri. 

1 Diario Napoletano dal 1798 al 1825, Arch. Stor. Nap. Anno 
XXIV., Fasc. II. (December 2 3 rd). 

* In possession of the Societa di Storia Patria (see Arch. Stor. 
Nap. Anno. X., Fasc. I. Naples, 1885). 


Not even the offer of double pay would induce the 
Neapolitan sailors to remain on the ships ; not that 
they were, as the queen believed or pretended, full of 
disaffection and treachery, but they were too anxious 
about the fate of the homes they would leave behind. 

After a most stormy and dangerous passage, the fugi- 
tives arrived at Palermo on the 26th. The Vanguard, 
battered by the storm, was got into port by the help 
of Giovanni Bausan, captain of a Neapolitan frigate 
then lying in the harbour ; the Sannita, in spite of its 
inadequate and inexperienced crew (" poco e cattivo 
equipaggio," Caracciolo calls them), sailed in with easy 
mastery over the violent sea. 

Many Italian writers, in seeking to account for what 
looked like personal hatred in Nelson's later conduct 
towards Caracciolo, have attributed it to the vanity 
supposed to have been wounded on this occasion by 
the Neapolitan admiral's more fortunate display of skill. 
But considering the relative positions of the two officers 
at that time, the Englishman, high in the royal confi- 
dence, loaded with honourable attentions and rewards, 
and without a misgiving as to the infallibility of his own 
action in all this matter ; the Neapolitan, smarting under 
the open proof of the royal mistrust, following the heels 
of a cowardly flight, of which he and every patriotic 
officer heartily disapproved, under the commanding wing 
of the fortunate, victorious, arrogant foreigner who had 
had so large a share in precipitating the ruin of his 
country, and had been a spectator of all the ignominious 
collapse of the last few weeks, in truth, there could 
be little room for jealousy in Nelson's breast. 

Meanwhile, to suppose that Caracciolo deserted the 
royal cause out of mere personal pique at the removal 
of the treasure from the Sannita to the Vanguard, or 
at the embarking of the royal party on Nelson's ship 
rather than on his own, is wilfully to misunderstand the 
man. It has been easy for English and other writers 


to make a scapegoat of Caracciolo because history is 
so silent about him ; but the little glimpses we have of 
him, the line he took, the universal respect and affection 
of his countrymen of every shade of political opinion, 
and his own words at his trial, show, if they show 
anything, a man full of energy and talent, loyal to king 
and country as long as the two names stand for one 
thing profoundly disturbed when he is forced by events 
to recognise that the two are drifting apart, and that 
he cannot serve two masters. 

" We met him about this time " 1 (i.e. when flight was 
imminent), writes Miss Knight, "at a dinner party at 
General de Petra's, and I never saw any man look so 
utterly miserable. He scarcely uttered a word, ate 
nothing, and did not even unfold his napkin." 

This was before any supposed personal offence could 
have been taken by Caracciolo. It is not difficult, nor 
going out of the way, to see in this deep dejection his 
mental suffering for the mortifying and anxious position 
of his country, and the painful struggle of an upright 
soul between its lifelong loyalty and a possible new 
and higher call. 

Certainly if he meant to remain at Palermo, feasting 
and gambling with the rest of the faithful until all danger 
was over, honour and favour alone could lie that way, 
and here was no cause for misery. If he was already 
a Jacobin at heart, and bent on throwing in his lot 
with a more prosperous source of advancement and 
wealth, the way was not difficult, and neither here would 
there have been cause for such bitterness of soul. May 
one not take it to have sprung from the fierce struggle 
raging within him between love of his country, hatred 
of the disastrous and all-powerful foreign influence, and 
allegiance to his king? 

1 Miss KNIGHT : Autobiography, Vol. I., p. 124. 


The abandoned city The regent The eletti ; their efforts to 
keep order The regent frustrates every attempt at defence 
Absolute lack of money Destruction of the fleet, ammunition, 
etc. Public alarm The regent concludes an armistice with 
the French Impossibility of paying the stipulated sums 
Popular anarchy Flight of the regent No hope but France 
Massacre of the Filomarino brothers Character of the populace 
Advance of Championnet Resistance of the lazzari Entry 
of the French Proclamation of the Neapolitan Republic. 

"\\ TOE to this poor city if the king departs ! " wrote 
V V Marinelli in his journal ; and now the king was 
gone, with queen and family, Court and ministers. General 
Francesco Pignatelli was left regent of the kingdom. 
The manner of his appointment, as told by the Monitore? 
was characteristic of Ferdinand. The general was sent 
for at the last moment when all was ready for flight ; the 
king was alone, and in some confusion directed him to 
fetch certain papers from his cabinet. Pignatelli went 
to find the papers, and when he came back the king had 
disappeared : the papers contained his instructions and 
his appointment to the regency. 

Great was the general consternation to find that the 
king had really fled. Notices on the walls announced 
that he had passed over to Sicily in order shortly to 
return with fresh reinforcements. The whole story of 
the flight was soon known the carrying off of the anti- 
quities and precious things, and the robbery of the 
entire public treasure. 

1 The Monitore Repubblicano , journal of the Neapolitan Republic. 

97 7 


Pignatelli was no whit more equal to the present 
emergency than the king himself. He showed neither 
decision nor tact nor public spirit in his dealings with 
" the City," as the ancient representative municipal 
government was called, but began by receiving their depu- 
tation coldly, obstructing their proposals for the immediate 
formation of a national guard, meeting their petitions with 
"a puffed up and repellent air," and with the haughty 
and stupid reply that "the public tranquillity was his 
affair, and no one else need trouble himself about it" 

The " city " delegates J went in a body on the 3Oth to 
the regent to learn what faculty he had for treating with 
the French, " because in case he had none, the City would 
treat by itself." The regent tried to temporise, and said 
the "city" had no such right. One of the eletti* the Prince 
of Colobrano, replied that they were the representatives of 
the country, and were responsible to the country for 
every disaster that might happen. The regent began to 
bluster and say " this was the language of a republican," 
whereto Colobrano very coolly replied that " it was the 
language of a man who had property to lose and did not 
wish to be dragged through Naples by the populace." 3 
Not till January 3rd, after many petitions and much 
discussion, were the representatives able to extort a 
reluctant permission from the regent, who should have 
been the first man, from the moment that power and 

1 See Diario Napoletano for December 30th, 1798. 

2 The eletti, or " elected," were elected or appointed by the king. 

3 All these eletti were tried for high treason in 1800, and 
Colobrano, all unperturbed in the strength of his common sense, 
told Guidobaldi, one of the judges, that " one of these days his 
Majesty would know who was Colobrano, and who Guidobaldi ; 
that the judge had not been one of the best of vassals when he 
was Governor of Naples (after Pignatelli) and had abandoned 
the Government, leaving Naples a prey to the popular anarchy, 
while the Cavalieri di Cittd, on the contrary, had supported the 
Government, doing their utmost for the maintenance of order. "- 
Diario Nafioletano, February i3th, 1800, Arch* Stor. Nap. XXV. i. 


responsibility were his, to form a city militia for the 
keeping of public order. 

By the published petitions of the " city " to the regent 
in those days l it is evident that one principal, enormous, 
and insurmountable difficulty that paralysed public activity 
was the total absence of money. The paper in circulation 
was already at a discount of 68 and 70 per cent, and was 
practically worthless. The regent was known to have in his 
own custody five hundred thousand ducats, reserved for 
paying the army ; and the " city " directed to him petition 
after petition, requesting most urgently that he would 
give some assurance to the public that the circulation 
of money was not about to be absolutely arrested. 
Pignatelli only wrapped himself in an impenetrable 
silence which served to mask his incapacity and his fright. 

The " city " decreed the instant raising of fourteen 
thousand men, by conscription, to form a national guard ; 
but when they responded to the call, and it came to 
arming them, Pignatelli declared there were no arms 
in the castles. Pressed by the representatives, he gave 
out first a hundred muskets, and later two hundred 
more ; " thus," says a contemporary memoir, " honest 
citizens were seen going the rounds, and the population 
assumed an air of tranquillity." 

But meanwhile Pignatelli, acting on his instructions, 
had given orders for the destruction of all the powder 
and ammunition kept in the magazine called the Torretta, 
at Mergellina. The first intention of the Government 
had been to embark it upon Portuguese ships, but in 
the hurry of flight this idea had been given up, and 
now all was thrown into the sea, " that no one may 
profit by it." The elettiy moved by petitions from the 
anxious public, prayed the regent that the fortifications 
round the Gulf, which had just been dismantled, might 
speedily be armed again in order to restore public 

1 LUIGI CONFORTI : La Repubblica Nafioletana e V Anarchia 
Regia. Narrazioni, Memorie, Documenti inediti. Avellino, 1890. 


confidence. The regent gave no sign at first, but, on 
repeated representations and remonstrances, made the 
inconceivably idiotic reply that " the City had nothing 
to do with the affairs of the State." 

The growing alarm was increased on December 28th, 
to see, in the direction of Posilipo, a dense smoke 
rising up to heaven, and to hear that the whole costly 
fleet of some hundred gunboats (kept hidden in those 
great caves of which there are so many along the coast) 
was being burned to ashes. It seems that an order was 
given for the burning of the arsenal, but the "city" 

Ten days later two large Neapolitan ships of war 
and three smaller vessels were seen burning in the Gulf, 
set fire to by a Portuguese frigate ; another fine ship 
was sunk at Castellamare. "It was a pitiful sight to see 
them," wrote Marinelli, " while the Nation was robbed 
of its strength, and so many tears, so much substance 
and wealth of the citizens were consumed. All night 
long they went on burning, keeping the whole sea 

Although Nelson had directed that these ships should 
be burned if there should arise any danger of their falling 
into the hands of the French, he was in no way responsible 
for what was done before the occasion had come which 
he contemplated. This act has the appearance of having 
been in some way contrived or precipitated by the panic- 
stricken, meddling queen. It seems otherwise inexplicable 
that the Portuguese commodore Campbell should have 
set fire to the ships without necessity, or, as Pettigrew 
supposes, 1 " under his feelings of disgust at the treachery 
and weakness of the Neapolitan General." The Neapolitan 
general whose conduct excited feelings so overpowering 
in the breast of the too-susceptible Campbell as to oblige 
him to set fire to half a dozen ships of war there and then, 

1 T. J. PETTIGREW: Memoirs of the Life of Vice- Admiral Lord 
Viscount Nelson, etc. London, 1849. Vol. I., p. 179. 

< O 

a os 

CO (J 


we may take to be Pignatelli, whose proceedings, after 
all, were aimed, though feebly, at keeping the enemy out 
of Naples ; so that an Englishman serving in the Portu- 
guese navy might have contrived to bear it a little longer. 
The extracts from Campbell's own correspondence with 
Pignatelli, published by Clarke & M'Arthur, 1 do not 
by any means suffice to justify his action, attractive as 
Campbell himself appears in these fragments of his manly 
and energetic letters and remonstrances. When all is 
said, the matter remains still inadequately explained. 
From one of these letters, dated January 7th, it appears 
that "boats from the shore had proceeded to pillage his 
Sicilian Majesty's ships, and had even gone the length 
of firing on some of the Portuguese boats sent with 
orders to keep them at a distance. . . ." Campbell had one 
of these pirate boats burned as an example, not aware 
that in so doing he was running counter to the royalist 
policy of letting the mob loose to pillage at their will, 
and especially to arm themselves as best they could. It 
appears, from his final letter to Pignatelli, that he had 
asked for " warlike stores " to be furnished to his squadron, 
and that Pignatelli had substantially refused to supply 
them, making use of vague diplomatic jargon characteristic 
of the Court, to the .effect that the sending of ammunition 
would "rouse uneasiness in the public mind." It looks 
as though Pignatelli, having according to his instructions 
destroyed everything that he could reach in the way 
of boats and naval stores, was now doing his best to 
complete the work by deliberately pushing Campbell to 
the extreme he threatened. Campbell's own mind was 
probably prepossessed with the Court idea that all the 
nobles were Jacobins, and, seeing Pignatelli so obviously 
a traitor to his country, naturally did not imagine that 
he was at the same time trying to be loyal to his king. 
His suspicions once implanted, Campbell saw all that 
was taking place by their light. Thus, when the " city " 
1 CLARKE & M'ARTHUR : Life of Nelson, Vol. II., p. 1^1, 


demanded the restoration of the defences on the Mole, 
Campbell believed was perhaps induced to believe that 
the defences were to be used " against the ships." 

Campbell's own account of the matter, and copies of 
his correspondence with Pignatelli, failed to satisfy Nelson, 
who demanded a court-martial for flat disregard of orders. 
The court-martial was accordingly instituted, but matters 
did not go far before " the good and amiable Queen," 
as Nelson wrote to Campbell's superior, the Marquis di 
Niza, "desired that all proceedings against Commodore 
Campbell might be at an end," and the trial was dropped. 
After all, the offence was only against the country ! 1 

Meanwhile, on January 5th the queen had written 
to the Emperor that "the cowardice, ill-will of the 
marine has also prevented our being able to save 
the marine artillery ammunition, riches of all sorts, no 
one would help in lading, and they were deserting the 
royal armed vessels, which has forced us to destroy 
Vaisseaux Frtgattes Corvettes Brigantines GaUotes and 
ninety gunboats and bomb-vessels for a loss of more 
than four million ducats and of twenty years of trouble, 
it goes to one's heart, but */ was a necessity in order not 
to leave it in the hands of the enemy." 2 This the queen 
wrote on the 5th, although it was not till the 8th that 
Campbell burned the ships, and the queen could not 
know of it until some days later still. As for the enemy, 
we know they did not enter Naples till the 2Oth. 

1 The queen's way of looking at these things may be seen from 
a passage in a letter to Lady Hamilton (PALUMBO : Carteggio 
etc., p. 211, date July, 1799), where she asks that Pignatelli and 
two others may be forgiven: "Ces trois malheureux ont manque, 
mais ne sont pas jacobins." 

* Compare the next letter of the queen to the Emperor on 
January 2ist : "The Portuguese commanders, tired of waiting 
so long, have thought fit to burn all our marine and to come 
away. It is a very considerable immense loss, for which my heart 
bleeds, and which in all our lives we shall never more see 
remedied ; Nelson ordered a court-martial upon the Captain on his 
Arrival," HELFERT : Fabrizio Ruffo, etc.., pp. 525, 52$. 


After the destruction of the fleet, the " city " deputies, in 
the humblest and most respectful terms, almost apologising 
for the public alarm, begged that precautions might be 
taken at least for the preservation of the stores of corn 
in the great granili at the Ponte della Maddalena. An 
immense quantity of wood for ship-building was stored 
beneath the grain, and it was now reported with terror 
that the granili also were to be burned. Had not the 
queen, in departing, been heard to say that " nothing 
should be left to the Neapolitans but their eyes to 
weep withal " ? 

" The City and Deputation . . . cannot but admit how 
much reason the public fantasy has to be heated," wrote 
the representatives while the ships were smouldering, " to 
see in fact day by day destroyed with all speed the 
more valid public defences, such as war-ships (of which 
the melancholy spectacle is still to be seen), gun-boats 
and other things, which constructed with the very life- 
blood of the individuals of this public, were destined for 
that defence which seems to be completely abandoned 
and forsaken by the Government ... all these things 
cannot but disturb the vulgar imagination." 

This appeal, like the others, remained unanswered, 
and the national guard, on the authority of the " city," 
undertook the protection of the granili and of the 
arsenal, while the regent was negotiating an armistice 
with Championnet at Sparanise. 

Marinelli describes the lull of false calm that prevailed : 
" In the City we live in apparent quiet," he says, "while 
each one is palpitating, and the two parties are at 
daggers drawn." 

In point of fact there were more than two parties. 
Besides the masses, who were distinctly for the king and 
for their own immediate profit, there were different parties, 
or tendencies to parties, among the deputies sitting in 
long debate at San Lorenzo. The French were certainly 
coming ; the great question was how to receive them. 


Pignatelli's plan was simple : Let the people be taxed and 
concessions be made to bribe the French to stay away 
another couple of months. This idea was of a piece with 
the work of the helpless and cowardly Government which 
Pignatelli was so thoroughly representing. Among the 
eletti there was naturally great confusion, great hesitation 
and trembling, and not a little mistrust of one another. 
On the whole, the idea of a republic was uppermost in 
most thinking minds. But these representatives of the 
ancient piazze of the city were nearly all noble, and 
could not bear the idea of a democratic Government ; an 
aristocratic republic would have suited better with their 
prejudices and habits of thought. The more learned class 
so persecuted of late years looked forward to the entry 
of the French as the only possible deliverance from the 
intolerable royal misgovernment, and they hoped for a 
republic on an ancient classic model. There was a party 
which advocated an offer of the government to Spain. But 
no party could feel sure that any other was sincere ; the 
masses believed in none of them, and showed a growing 
determination, fostered underhand by agents of the regent 
and the queen, to act for themselves. The days passed in 
most anxious, but fruitless, discussion as to how the situation 
was to be taken, what was to be done to secure public 
order and safety, and above all what attitude was to be 
assumed towards the French. 

General Colli told Marinelli, who was his doctor, that 
there might still be some hope of repelling the invasion of 
the French, either if the Emperor were to attack them from 
the north, or if Naples were to recall those regiments which 
had been sent to Leghorn, and make another forced levy 
of twelve thousand men. Idle words ! The Emperor was 
waiting leisurely for the melting of the snow. New soldiers 
could not be raised ready-made, especially then, when 
neither money nor credit was to be got ; and the French 
were already at Capua. As for the regiments from 
Leghorn, when they did reappear, on January i$th, the 


transports were fallen upon by the swarming lazzari in 
search of arms, and not a musket was left to the soldiers, 
who gave up everything without much ado. 

Meanwhile, on the itth, Pignatelli did his best to plunge 
the unhappy kingdom into deeper distress by negotiating 
a two-months' truce with Championnet, concluded on the 
following chief terms : Capua was to be ceded with all its 
military stores on the following day ; the French were to 
occupy a line passing from the Mediterranean by Acerra, 
Arienzo, and Benevento to the mouth of the Ofanto on 
the Adriatic, cutting the highroad to Naples, and were to 
garrison the towns and villages along this line ; the ports 
of the Two Sicilies were to be declared neutral ; and the 
king was to pay the Republic ten million francs, half 
on the 1 5th and half on the 25th of the current month 
of January. On these terms Pignatelli was content to 
purchase nothing but two months' respite, a doubtful 
advantage as matters stood, and on such conditions 
absolute ruin. 

The French took possession of Capua on the I2th, 
and General Mack betook himself to Championnet for 
protection, and presented his sword to the French com- 
mander. " Keep it, General," said Championnet, with 
a smile ; " my government forbids me to accept presents 
of English manufacture." 1 

On the 1 3th the "city" representatives were called to 
the palace and told by the regent to take measures for 
at once raising the sum stipulated in the treaty. The 
deputies replied that they were unable to comply with 
conditions " in their nature impossible," and suggested his 
writing to the king to send it from Palermo. It is difficult 
to imagine what other answer Pignatelli expected. 

1 DUVAL : notes, etc., to Orloff's memoirs, p. 372. He says further 
that Championnet gave Mack a passport and a safe-conduct to 
Milan, but he was arrested by order of the Directoire and taken 
to Paris. Set free on parole, he broke it and escaped to Germany 
(with an improper female). 


" The representatives of the City," says a memoir of 
the time, " met together in long sessions, to find some way 
of bringing to bear those rights of defence which belonged 
to them ; but diffidence, and respect for the Government, 
and the absence of means, rendered futile every proposal." l 
Meanwhile, there are riots among the populace for want 
of food ; the regent threatens to have the city deputies 
arrested for Jacobins ; the national guard comes to blows 
with the soldiers ; the prisoners in the Vicaria rebel, put 
on caps of liberty, and fire shots from within ; troops 
arrive and fire in at the gratings ; the gaolers, it is 
said, are to be flogged for their " indulgence " in allow- 
ing firearms to the prisoners. At the tan-works on the 
Maddalena the lazzari have a fight with the soldiers. 

On the evening of the I4th five carriages arrived from 
Capua, with the French commissioners, to receive the 
sum agreed upon. The city was in a ferment. The lazzari 
gathered tumultuously to massacre the French. They 
ran to the theatres and to the palace in search of the 
enemy, disarming all the guards they came across ; they 
stopped the fugitive carriages, on pretence of looking for 
the French commissioners, insulting and terrifying the 
occupants, who readily gave up their purses to be quit 
of the dangerous mob. In the small hours of the morning 
the lazzari dispersed, and before dawn the French were 
hastily escorted out of the city by a strong guard of 

Next day matters became more alarming for all who 
still strove to stem the rising tide of anarchy. The 
populace, having disarmed the regiments arriving from 
Leghorn, and completely sacked another transport bearing 
muskets and bayonets ordered by the Government from 
a private firm, proceeded to attack Castel Nuovo. The 
commandant sent hastily to the regent for instructions, 

1 Author's italics. Let especial note be made of this anxious 
loyalty of the " city," a loyalty which positively hampers all their 
action at this time. 

ffi E 
*" S 

s t 

P c 

I 1 


, 5 

H b 

< 8 

u -. 


and was told " to defend the castle, but not to resist the 
populace, and not to fire." The officer remonstrated 
that the instructions were contradictory, and the regent 
replied that the garrison might fire, but only with powder. 
Defence was thus rendered impossible ; and while the 
officers were hurriedly debating what to do, the mob 
scaled the first gate and occupied the bridge, clamouring 
for arms, and demanding the raising of the royal banner. 
The banner was run up, and the officers agreed to consign 
arms to the city deputies if a proper order came to that 
effect. While some ran to procure an order and the mob 
had suspended their assault, some soldiers from within 
opened the second gate, and the castle was immediately 
in the hands of the lazzari. The sack lasted all day, and 
the mob not only carried off all the arms and ammunition, 
but rifled the apartments of the officers. 

The same day the populace broke into the other castles, 
the Carmine, Castel dell' Ovo, and St. Elmo, and by 
nightfall all the arms, munitions, and strong places of the 
city were in the hands of the lowest of the people. It 
was commonly believed, and seems very probable, that 
Pignatelli had the royal authority, underhand, for thus 
giving all power into the hands of the people, whom 
the queen regarded as the only loyal part of her 
subjects. This seems indeed the only explanation of 
the inaction of a regent who held all these strong places, 
well furnished with arms and material, full of soldiers 
whose officers only demanded instructions, with the city 
deputies only anxious to keep order and , to organise, 
in any way the regent would point out, the common 
defence against the French, and with the majority of the 
royal army at his disposal. Days and weeks pass ; the 
regent thwarts every attempt of the "city" to exert a 
beneficial action, refuses to arm the national guard, and 
finally enters into an armistice with the enemy so pre- 
posterous in its extravagant concessions as to give colour 
to a general suspicion that, if not in mere fatuity, it was 


done with the express object of goading the people to 

On this same January I5th the lazzari threw open 
the prisons and set free, together with the malefactors, 
many real or supposed Jacobins and patriots, among 
others Eleonora Fonseca Pimentel, who had been arrested 
and confined in the Vicaria early in the October of 1798. 
This reinforcement by some six thousand thieves and 
assassins did not tend to elevate the tone and intentions of 
the mob who surged through the streets to their war-cry 
of " Viva la Santa Fede ! " " Viva San Gennaro ! " putting 
the " Chi viva ? " to the passers-by, attacking and massacring 
with circumstances of barbarous cruelty many young men 
of fashion whose short hair or modern dress was sufficient 
proof of Jacobinism. They arrested the couriers and inter- 
cepted the letters ; among others, one from Zurlo, the 
Minister of Finance, directed to the French headquarters, 
to say that, owing to the revolt of the populace, the money 
stipulated in the armistice could not be paid. For the un- 
lettered mob it was enough to gather vaguely that Zurlo 
was in communication with the French. They assaulted 
his house, sacked everything, and dragged him bound, 
holding bayonets to his throat and spitting in his face, 
from San Lorenzo to the Mercato to put him to death. 
They were happily persuaded at the last moment to shut 
him up in the Carmine hard by, and to defer him to the 
judgment of the " city." The national guard were all 
disarmed, and the lazzari mounted guard in their stead ; 
even the women of the mob were armed, and went 
about exhorting the men " to defend religion and the 

Great search was made for the regent, the Duca del 
Gesso, and the Prince of Migliano Loffredo, who had 
signed the armistice, to put them to death as traitors, 
but they were not to be found. 

Meanwhile, on the previous evening, as the Prince 
of Moliterno rode in from Capua, he was surrounded 


by the mob and immediately acclaimed as their chief 
and leader. Moliterno had distinguished himself at the 
head ,of a Neapolitan regiment in the campaign in 
Lombardy, where he had lost an eye, and was popular 
on that account, and also for his handsome and attractive 
personality. The mob now appointed him their general, 
and " sub-general " the Duke of Roccaromana, a rich and 
handsome man whom they took to be loyal to their 
cause. For a moment it was hoped that the people 
might yet be brought back under control. Four nobles 
were appointed governors of the castles, and many of 
the people began to bring back their stolen arms. The 
sacrament was exposed in the churches ; processions of 
girls with bare feet and dishevelled hair walked through 
the streets reciting prayers aloud ; and three orders of 
monks by turn preached all day at the street corners 
and in the piazze. These things were not without 
influence on the superstitious and impressionable people. 
Moliterno further showed that he knew his men by 
erecting gallows in twelve different parts of the city. 
Edicts for the severe punishment of disorder were posted 
in the streets, and the " city," acting in concert with 
Moliterno, contrived to quell in some degree and for a 
short time the violence of the mob. 

On the morning of the I7th it was known that the 
regent, taking with him the last five hundred thousand 
ducats of the public money, had fled to join his royal 
master at Palermo. Ferdinand, somewhat illogically, 
arrested him, and shut him up in the fortress at Girgenti. 

But even the flight of Pignatelli, in that series of 
misfortunes and disasters, came too late to do any good. 
He had remained long enough to keep effective power 
out of the hands of the " city," and now that he was 
gone there remained the infinite mischief he had done, 
and the mob past ruling. In vain " the City took the 
reins of a provisional government " ; government was 
in dissolution. On the night of the i8th the populace 


threw down the gallows set up by Moliterno, and even 
men who would gladly have served the royal cause * 
and they were by far the majority began to be con- 
vinced that their only choice now lay between anarchy 
and the arms of France. 

The French, deluded in their hopes of raising money, 
considered the armistice at an end, and were drawing 
nearer round Naples on every side. Time was short, 
and a resolution had to be made. The question was, 
as Professor Spinazzola puts it, 1 "whether to open their 
gates to the foreigners, bearers of liberty and, as they 
promised) of independence, or to put themselves at the 
head of the masses and attempt a resistance which, if 
successful, would lead them back to the feet of Ferdinand, 
of Carolina, and of Acton ; if unsuccessful, would lay 
them under the foreign yoke." Moreover, it would not 
have been easy to lead the masses, perhaps not possible, 
for they suspected all who were not of themselves. 

The patriots had no doubts as to what was best to 
be done under the circumstances, and it was only for 
precaution, absolutely essential to their safety in that 
time of terror, that they hid their true colours as much 
as possible, and strove to delude the mob as one may 
delude a dangerous maniac. 

At the advance of the French the frenzy of the people 
knew no bounds ; they began dragging cannon out to 
Poggio-reale, Capodichino, Capodimonte, and the Ponte 
della Maddalena. In vain Moliterno demonstrated the 
futility of such measures, and proposed rather to come 
to terms with the enemy. The bare word was treason. 
The people once more seized the arms they had partly 
given up, and the last trace of subjection disappeared. 
By a last happy inspiration the energetic and ready-witted 
Moliterno lulled the populace to sleep for one night, and 

1 VITTORIO SPINAZZOLA : Gli avvenimenti del 1799 in Napoli, 
da nuove ricerche e documenti inediti del Museo Nazionale di 
San Martina. Napoli, 1899. 


gained a few quiet hours for the men who had work to 
do and short time to do it in. 

He ordered the archbishop, Cardinal Zurlo, to set all 
the church bells a-ringing, to unite the chapter and clergy 
towards ten o'clock at night, to expose the relics and the 
mystic blood of San Gennaro (the patron saint of Naples)j 
and to bear them in procession throughout the city. 
While the ringing of the bells set the people running 
to the cathedral, half persuaded that the French were 
in the city, the patriots met and decided rapidly upon 
their action, dispersing immediately. Moliterno then, and 
Roccaromana, with flying hair, bare feet, and disordered 
mourning-dress, met the procession at the cathedral and 
followed the archbishop. The religious scene drew forth 
a torrent of tears from the susceptible people. A vast 
crowd accompanied the procession, men and women weep- 
ing aloud and crying for pardon for their sins. They made 
an immense round, and returned to receive the benediction 
in the cathedral. Moliterno, then, in a voice broken by 
extreme emotion, exhorted the people to retire quietly, 
to confide in the protection of San Gennaro, and to be 
ready at break of day to go forth against the enemies 
of their religion and their country. Moliterno's eloquence 
and his emotion, real enough no doubt, but not what the 
people took it to be, falling in with their softened mood, 
persuaded the multitude to retire, and thus the patriots 
were free to carry out their plan. 

In the early morning of the ipth, by a stratagem, the 
patriots took St. Elmo out of the hands of the lazzari. 
The commander of the castle was Nicola Caracciolo, 
brother of Roccaromana. Together with a few artillery 
officers he went up about dawn, saying he must put the 
defences into good order against the imminent coming 
of the enemy. He was readily let in, and very soon other 
little parties came up in the same natural way. Brandi, 
the leader of the lazzari in the castle, began grumbling, 
loud enough to be heard, that he did not like these 


Don Riccardi (fine gentlemen), and that it would be a good 
thing to cut off a few heads. Caracciolo waited till his 
own party was sufficiently numerous, and then sent out a 
strong party of lazzari under Brandi, on pretence of recon- 
noitring ; and when they were all well outside, Brandi was 
called back, instantly seized, and thrown into prison. St. 
Elmo thus changed hands without bloodshed, and the key 
to Naples was in the hands of men of very varying political 
feeling, who had now become, perforce, the French party. 

They were not a whit too soon. That day Marinelli 
wrote : " We are in the utmost terror. The populace is 
more unbridled than ever. . . we expect some crisis in all 
this violence. . . all is suspicion, licence and alarm." The 
mob were sacking and burning the houses of pretended 
Jacobins, who fled up to St. Elmo for refuge ; among others, 
Eleonora Pimentel, who put herself at the head of a little 
troop of ladies, and led them safely up. 

Towards evening a frightful outrage was perpetrated, 
an outrage which showed completely what was the real 
ruling instinct and passion of the mob the moment they 
were let loose. 

In his magnificent palace in the Piazza of San Giovanni 
Maggiore lived at that time Ascanio Filomarino, Duke 
della Torre, together with his aged mother, his wife, a 
young grown-up son and other younger children, and his 
brother Clemente. The duke was a mathematician and 
geologist, whose Vesuvian museum, cabinets of valuable 
instruments, and other scientific collections were the 
admiration of cultured foreigners. He was personally 
attached to the king and even to the Bourbon Government, 
and was particularly averse to the novelties of the day. 
He had proposed to follow the king to Sicily, but had 
been refused permission ; perhaps he was too cultured and 
learned a man to be thought safe company for the royal 
family. All good people, at that time, his son tells us, 1 

from his memoirs, Arch. Stor. Nap. Anno XXV., Fasc. I. 


Assassinated by the Lazzari in 1799. 
(From a miniature in the Museum at San Martina.) 

[To face p. 112. 


" shut up in their own houses, without a guide, without 
advice, discussed, consulted and deliberated in family 
council upon the grave events that were drawing fatally 
near." Such a family council had been held on the night 
of January i8th in the Filomarino palace, and it had 
been decided that the duke and his sons at any rate 
would better leave the capital and retire for a time to 
Sorrento. The idea had been maturing some little time, 
and the duke had recently made an extra provision of 
ready money, to the amount of 18,000 ducats, which was 
now in the house. Before making a final decision, however, 
the duke wished to know the result of the extraordinary 
meeting of the sedili y or representatives, convoked for the 
morning of the iQth, which he, as one of the representatives 
for Porta Capuana, had been invited to attend. He could 
not go in person, his son tells us, as he was only just 
recovering from a severe cough, and that morning a violent 
tramontanes, or north wind, was blowing. The young man 
went in his stead, so as to be able to report to the anxious 
family what had been discussed and what decided. 

" I know not," he writes, " how to describe the uncertainty 
of the opinions, and the disorder, not to say tumult, which 
accompanied their delivery : the advice of the majority 
was to receive the French, as the only plank that was 
left to save the State [la patrid] from the shipwreck to 
which it was exposed by its still unrevealed internal sects, 
by the threats of the turbulent populace, and by the 
decided tone of the French Generals. Everyone knew 
and weighed the disasters which were about to spring 
from a foreign invasion, but in our manifold and desperate 
extremity, what other mortal hope was left for us ! 1 Una 
salus victis : nullam sperare salutem. There was, however, 
no agreement as to the means to be adopted, which 
increased the consternation at the heart of each, and 
involved the public safety in the most desolating confusion. 

" Amost speechless from the grave impression made 
1 Mark this, the sentiment and verdict of an ultra-royalist ! 



upon me by all these doubtings and by the visible agita- 
tion of all the deputies, more and more alarmed at the 
mournful appearance of the streets of the city, lately so 
crowded, now totally deserted, and with a heart foreboding 
dark things, I entered our house an hour after mid-day." 

The young man reported on all that he had seen ; 
the duke was greatly agitated ; the dinner hour was 
hastened in order that some definite step might be taken. 

" But, alas ! the time was not given us. While we were 
at table came the announcement that the mob, having 
arrested Zurlo, late Minister of Finance, were dragging 
him towards the Carmine ; that another more furious horde 
had attacked the house of Fasulo 1 ; yet another moment, 
and we are warned that the Piazza of San Giovanni 
Maggiore is beginning to fill with people on the look- 
out for mischief [gente esploratrice\ The order was given 
to shut the palace. The crowd increases, the sedition 
is evident : they insist on the opening of the big door. 
My grandmother opposes this, and also my mother ; my 
father orders the door to be thrown open : in a moment 
the house fills with a crowd of lazzaroni whose leaders 
say that they are come to surprise a meeting of jacobins, 
who were met together in our house that day for a 
sumptuous banquet, at which the surrender of the city 
was to be discussed : perhaps whoever had guided those 
men thither had made use of this pretext. We replied 
that they were dreaming. 

" They won't be persuaded ; they must search the whole 
palace. Thus far none of them had appeared in that 
part which we were then occupying, but the crowd, the 
tumult and the shouting increased every moment. My 
father, thinking that his appearance might have effect, 
and persuaded that these people would listen to him, 

1 Nicola Fasulo, an advocate who had spent some years in 
prison as a "jacobin." He eventually became a member of the 
provisional Government of the Neapolitan Republic, and perished 
on the gallows with the rest. 


since they belonged to a district to which, on several 
occasions, as Director of public works, or of royal manu- 
factories, he had been able to give good work, shewed 
himself at a window and spoke to them with indignation : 
their only reply is that they want the jacobins. Some 
found their way up on to the roof, some into the cellar, 
some into the apartment of my uncle Don Clemente, some 
into one corner of the house, some into another." 

The mob next began to try to break in the doors of 
the apartments, beginning with that of the duke on the 
first floor, where were all his valuable collections and 
the money brought together for the projected flight to 
Sorrento. Anger gave him greater courage, and he began 
vehemently reproaching them, declaring that so far from 
looking for Jacobins they were intent only on robbing 
and spoiling. At this the mob, leaving for the moment 
the first floor, surged up the stairs, and broke into the 
upper apartment, where the terrified family were gathered 
together. They were led by a barber of the Molo Piccolo, 
familiar no doubt with the palace and its rich appoint- 
ments, as barbers were with the houses of the rich 
aristocracy in those days of elaborate toilettes, wigs, and 
powder. 1 While one party seized the unhappy duke, 
another broke into the rooms of Clemente Filomarino. 
Clemente had been one of the many hundreds of cultivated 
gentlemen imprisoned on futile pretences of suspected 
Jacobinism in 1796, but had very soon been set at liberty. 
His only crime had been that he liked to frequent the 
society of cultivated and liberal persons, over which 
society, notes the nephew, "the agreeable manners of 
those good and most unfortunate ladies, the Duchesses of 
Cassano and Popoli, threw not a little charm." Filomarino 
was a poet, and among other things had translated the 

1 For this reason they used to be employed as spies by the 
police ; possibly they had even a personal grudge against the 
"jacobins" because they were the first to adopt the new fashion 
of cutting the hair short. 


poems of Edward Young, then very popular in Naples. 
After recovering his liberty, Clemente fell into a deep 
melancholy, and gradually lost his reason, so that, what- 
ever he might once have been or done, it could no longer 
be pretended that any political party relied upon him 
for co-operation. On this very morning he had made 
more than one attempt to destroy himself, and had at 
last been put to bed by force. 

In a moment the two unhappy brothers were whirled 
away down and out of the house by the furious mob. 
The young Filomarino bounded after them half-way down 
the stairs, but was stopped and obliged to return. After 
hours of agonised suspense, the family, by means of secret 
heavy bribes to certain of the mob, were able to leave the 
palace on condition of their taking nothing with them, 
and that night they took refuge in a monastery. It was 
not for some days that they knew that the duke and his 
brother, dragged with insults and blows to the Marinella, 
had there been bound upon chairs and shot by the lazzari, 
and their dead bodies burned in tar barrels on two great 

The son, whom the lazzari repented of not having taken 
and shot also, and whom they traced to the monastery, 
spent that night concealed in the family vault among the 
coffins of his forefathers, but he was so stupefied by the 
accumulated suffering of the day that the place had no 
horror for him. 

The palace was completely sacked. The lazzari carried 
away and either dispersed or destroyed an infinity of 
valuable papers and family documents ; a splendid library 
accumulated a hundred and fifty years before by Cardinal 
Filomarino, containing many rare and priceless books and 
manuscripts, besides a great number of modern works 
of history, travel, and science, on arts and manufactures ; 
a magnificent collection of pictures, works by the Caracci, 
Raphael, Titian, Correggio, Giorgione, and many other 
masters, a gallery which had been valued at upwards of 


a hundred thousand ducats. The mechanical and chemical 
cabinets and laboratories were destroyed, together with 
a watchmaking laboratory, in which the duke had loved 
to work, being, his son tells us, a proficient in the watch- 
maker's art. All the rich furniture and plate, the very 
doors, windows, balcony railings, beams and banisters were 
carried off, and nothing left but the bare walls of the 
lately so magnificent dwelling. 

More harmless victims than these two learned and 
studious brothers could not have been chosen by the 
popular lust of plunder and of cruelty. 

The incident has been given at some length because 
it is thoroughly typical of what happened over and over 
again typical especially of the motives, judgments, and 
action and quality generally of the lazzari of 1799. Yet 
among all the classes of her subjects, Maria Carolina 
could appreciate and like but this one, this brutal mob 
of thieves and assassins t " Je crois que le peuple avait 
grandement raison," is her comment on this infamous 
outrage, written to her daughter the Empress soon 
afterwards. 1 

It is some satisfaction to know that after the entry 
of the French the wretched barber was taken and shot 
for his share in this crime. 

Horrors like these drew together, for the moment at 
least, persons of widely differing political sentiment, in 
one common league against the present intolerable 
anarchy. During the two following days the patriots 
from all parts of the city went up to St. Elmo, many 
merely as refugees, but many to swell the garrison of 
fighting men who were to be the first to reach out 
hands of brotherhood to the approaching French. 

And now at night from the walls of St. Elmo the fires 

of the French encampments could be seen. The garrison 

on the 2 1st ran up a tricolour flag, and the French, in 

answer to the signal, advanced upon the city. In their 

1 HELFERT : Fabrizio Ruffo, etc., p. 538. 


ranks were many returning exiles, who helped to 
arrange an understanding between the officers within 
and without the city. The lazzari swarmed out in 
hordes to drive them back. The struggle lasted three 
days, the French having, of course, the advantage in 
discipline and experience, the lazzari in numbers, and 
they were, moreover, animated by a furious courage 
that knew no obstacle. In vain the French guns laid low 
rank after rank ; they recovered themselves and surged 
on with redoubled frenzy, reinforced constantly by bands 
of peasants from the villages round, who spread a general 
battle over miles of country. In Naples itself the terror, 
the confusion, and the din were horrible. " The batteries," 
says a memoir of the time, " made a noise which afflicted 
the human mind. The shops were all shut, and the 
streets absolutely deserted. Each one, because of the 
enraged populace, went in fear of death, and because of 
the French, of a general sack and pillage. The mob . . . 
wherever they saw a group of Jacobins, ran thither and 
made butchery." Among these victims were a number 
of the " unbridled youth " of the hospital of the Incurabili, 
medical students, who had courageously attempted to make 
a stand against the plundering, murdering populace. 1 

Disguised as a hermit, moving safely across all this 
dreadful scene, went Lieutenant Eleuterio Ruggiero, down 
from St. Elmo to Capodimonte, to Championnet, to let 
him know certainly that that fortress and the Castel 
dell' Ovo were in the hands of the patriots, and that 
as soon as the French should be about to enter the 
city, the patriots would attack the populace from the 
rear. This feat, accomplished successfully, and published 
afterwards in the Monitore, where the hero of it was held 

1 It was alleged against two of these students, who survived 
only to be taken later on and condemned to death by the State 
Junta, that on this occasion they went out to dress the wounds 
of the French and of the patriots, but despatched their wounded 
enemies* Possibly it was true. SANSONE: Awenimenti^ etc., 
pp. cciii., 3 J 7>3 l8 


up to the admiration and gratitude of the Republic, cost 
the young officer his life and that of his wife a year 
after. Marinelli says that his real crime was being the 
husband of this good and beautiful woman ; that the 
adjutant of the Governor of the Castel Nuovo was in 
love with her, and hurried on the execution of Ruggiero 
in order to get possession of her. The unhappy wife 
waited all night at the castle gate to learn how it went 
with her husband, and when in the early morning she 
knew that they had beheaded him, she killed herself 
there and then. 

It was the persuasion of many at that time that if 
the French had not been seconded by the republican 
party, who from the height of St. Elmo swept the line 
of their advance, they would never have entered Naples. 
Assertions of this kind were easily made when the 
scapegoats had but to be gathered together for butchery ; 
and, of course, when one begins to suppose things other 
than they were, there is no particular limit to the imagin- 
able. The author of a memoir written immediately after 
the events it describes l considers that the patriots gave 
very effective aid to Championnet, and that without 
them the French would have entered neither so soon 
nor so happily, "and we should have been massacred 
by the mob if the French delayed one single day or 
had retreated. . . ." 2 

1 Memoria degli avvenimenti fiopolari seguiti in Napoli in 
gennaio 1799. 

3 A memoir published during the early days of the Republic might 
perhaps be suspected of giving a partial account of the state of 
the city from which the French entry was so welcome a deliver- 
ance. The account by Cresceri, secretary of the Austrian Embassy 
at Naples, written to Vienna, can come under no such suspicion. 
" To such a point had arrived the unbridled licence of the mob, 
and such was their greed of spoil and rapine, that if by chance 
the French had delayed coming for one or two days more, besides 
the new and many massacres that they would infallibly have 
committed, they would have sacked the whole town, as may well 
be concluded from the spoil and rapine they committed at the 


From Marinelli's diary and from that of De Nicola, 
where the excesses of the mob are amply described, 1 
it is quite evident that not only the patriots, republicans, 
or liberals, but by this time all parties who were not 
of the lowest populace, were united against the lazzari. 
" From the house-tops," Marinelli says on the 22nd, " they 
continue to throw down flower-pots and stones upon 
the infuriated populace, and to fire upon them. . . . The 
whole street of Toledo down to the turning into Chiaja 
is full of things that have been thrown down upon the 

On the other hand, Naples had no walls which could 
be defended round the city, and the mob, even though it 
were forty thousand strong, daily more bent on sacking, 
was full of elements of discord, and bound to fall asunder 
in a very short time ; while the French, not more than 
a third of their number, experienced soldiers under 
determined officers and a general who was invading 
Naples on his own responsibility, had no choice but to 
succeed, and it is inconceivable that they should not 
have succeeded, though it were " neither so soon nor so 

last in several palaces and convents, particularly in the rich 
Convent of Ladies of S. Gaudioso, to which they set fire after 
having completely pillaged it. All the inhabitants of Naples, 
moreover, who were obliged by necessity to pass through the 
streets, or might have wished to look out of window, were in 
continual peril of their lives, since for the last two days from many 
houses, and especially from several monasteries, an infinite number 
of shots were fired, and flower-pots were thrown against those 
who were running, armed, to oppose the French, and infinite shots 
were fired against the windows ; so that the universal alarm and 
horror for what we actually saw, increased by apprehension of 
what this mob might be yet about to attempt, made Naples the 
most lugubrious and dismal place that could ever possibly be 
imagined. . . . This miserable city being in such deplorable cir- 
cumstances, the French of the advanced columns were regarded 
as Angels descended from Heaven. . . ." HELFERT : Fabrizio 
Ruffo, etc., p. 534. 

1 Diario Napoletano, January iQth, 1799. 

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On the 2Oth the Ponte della Maddalena was taken, and 
part of an advanced column took Porta Capuana on the 
north and attempted to encamp on the piazza inside ; 
but they were attacked by such a hail of musket-shot 
from innumerable loopholes in the walls of the surrounding 
houses, while scarcely an enemy was visible, that they 
were obliged to retire, to the lasting pride of the lazzari. 
The French soon returned, burned the houses round the 
piazza, and made their camp. 

Step by step, fighting literally hand-to-hand, struggling 
over heaps of dead, assailed from the many narrow vicoli 
that enter the chief thoroughfares on either side, from 
every window and every terraced roof, by stones, flower- 
pots, lamps, iron bars, everything that the desperate 
populace could lay hands upon in their defence, the 
French came on. On the south they took the Castello 
del Carmine, and then the Castel Nuovo ; on the north 
they had Porta Capuana, Foria, and the upper part of 
Toledo ; and, passing along the brow of the hills from 
Capodimonte, they entered St. Elmo, and began coming 
down by the Via dei Sette Dolori and by the Petraja 
into Toledo and Pizzofalcone a strong position above 
the Castel dell' Ovo. 

The battle was won at last. A thousand French and 
three thousand Neapolitans fell in the struggle. The 
lazzari still fought in detail in remote streets and from 
isolated posts, and still contrived to hunt down and 
butcher such "jacobins" as they could find. Curiously 
enough, their last act of licence, before all subsided into 
the temporary calm of exhaustion under the new regime, 
was the total sacking of the palace of their beloved king, 
whence they carried off the very doors and the lead from 
the window panes. Their last lament, as night fell on 
the new order, was that " if only it had lasted one day 
more, Naples would have made herself rich " i.e. with 
the sack of the entire city. 

Championnet possessed the advantage of being able to 


speak Italian fluently, and addressed the people in person. 
He was himself a true republican, still full of genuine 
enthusiasm for those principles which were rapidly being 
forgotten or obscured in France as the struggle gathered 
round other centres. A born soldier himself, possessing 
eminently those qualities of courage, frankness, and 
generosity that readily win affection, he was beloved by 
his own soldiers, and further won the esteem and liking 
of all with whom he came into contact at Naples. He 
persuaded the people of the futility of further hostilities, 
declaring that the French were come to bring peace, 
order, and liberty to the Neapolitans. He swore to respect 
the persons and property of the citizens, their common 
Christian religion, and San Gennaro, their patron saint. 
He sent two companies of grenadiers to form a guard 
of honour and bring rich gifts to the saint ; and as 
they passed through the streets thronged by crowds of 
lazzari, they cried out, " Rispetto a San Gennaro ! " and 
the mobile crowd responded, " Viva i Francesi ! " 

To the bloody frenzy of the last week succeeded 
transports of relief and joy. 

Next day edicts were issued dated the 2nd day of the 
Neapolitan Republic, ordering the immediate giving up 
of all arms and the reopening of the shops and private 
houses. " That Thursday," writes Drusco, " was a most 
beautiful day in Naples. The immense population strolled 
about the city as though it were Holy Thursday." In the 
taverns the populace and the French soldiery drank and 
made merry together, and those who were better off vied 
with each other in showing hospitality to the officers. 

Women flocked up to St. Elmo in search of their rela- 
tions and friends, now that the great tension of fear was 
past. The monks of the Certosa of San Martino, the long 
white convent that nestles under the crest of the hill in the 
grim shadow of St. Elmo, glad to be quit of the perilous 
neighbourhood of Brandi and his lazzari, had supplied 
food to the patriot garrison during the last crisis ; and 


on January 23rd, when the French flag was lowered and 
the Neapolitan Republic had its birth, the new flag, 
blue, red, and yellow, was composed of sacred draperies 
taken from the Church of San Martino. That same 
evening the monks gave a grand supper to some forty 
patriots, men and women, who afterwards betook them- 
selves to dancing in the apartment of the prior, while 
the monks crowded in the doorways and looked on, well 
pleased. What an event in the lives of those Carthusians, 
vowed to perpetual silence and the contemplation of the 
thought of death ! 1 

On the Sunday, after the singing of a Te Deum in 
the cathedral, the tree of liberty was planted before the 
ex-royal palace a large pine-tree with all its roots and 
part of its green branches, with the cap of liberty on 
the top, and the new national banner bound to the stem 
with tricolour scarves. 

1 SPINAZZOLA: Gli avvenimenti del 1799, etc. In this interesting 
book are many illustrations made from water-colour drawings by 
an evident eye-witness of many of these events, preserved now in 
the National Museum of San Martino. 


The Republic Elements of failure Amateur republicans Gulf 
between the cultured classes and the populace Eleonora 
Pimentel and the Monitors Efforts to gain and to instruct 
the populace " Democratisers " The tree of liberty Tumults 
and conflicts Misplaced confidence in France Mistakes of 
the Government Vincenzo Russo Republicanism of Eleonora 

/^HAMPIONNET lost no time in appointing a 
V^^ provisional Government. This consisted of twenty- 
five members, elected, as he said in his address, by 
himself, but chosen by their own fame, since public report 
pronounced them to be of lofty intellect, of pure honour, 
and true and warm lovers of their country. As such 
and as something more, history hands down their names 
to us. Among them were Carlo Laubert (or Lauberg), 
the President ; Mario Pagano, Ignazio Ciaja, Pasquale 
Baffi, Gabriele Manthone, Giuseppe Albanese. 

Laubert had been a monk, and together with Annibale 
Giordano had held formerly at Naples a school of 
chemistry and mathematics, the mental atmosphere of 
which was so liberal that it was here that the first 
" jacobins " of Naples were formed Emanuele De Deo 
and his companions. Laubert, at the time of the arrest 
of many of his students, had escaped to France, and 
had come back now steeped in the most violent re- 
publicanism, dressed in French uniform, chemist-in-chief 
to the French army, full of new experience and fresh 
zeal. He seems to have been sincere and upright, but 


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too rigid and unconciliatory not to make many enemies. 
It was characteristic of the reigning spirit to set up an 
unfrocked and married monk as president of the new 
order at Naples ; but considering on what dangerous 
ground the new Republic was standing, and how much 
need there was to conciliate the stubborn masses holding 
ominously aloof, it was unwise thus to maintain a standing 
offence against convictions dear not only to the ignorant, 
but to the majority of all classes in Naples at that time. 
" Hold thy tongue," cried out to him the Princess of 
Belmonte, her indignation already excited by the discussion 
upon the abolition of feudal rights ; " hold thy tongue, 
thou that hast cheated Christ, and wilt now cheat us ; 
and I speak not with thee who art an apostate, but 
with these others, who are upright men . . ." 1 

Baffi was one of the first Greek scholars of his day ; 
it is said of him by Vannucci that " in the many public 
offices he held, he never did aught that was not noble 
and generous." Nobility and generosity of temper indeed 
were perhaps the strongest characteristics of the men of 
the new Government. 

Pagano was another such high-souled, scholarly, tem- 
perate, most magnanimous. He had only lately been set 
free after four years' imprisonment, and, being debarred in 
Naples from the exercise of his profession, had taken 
refuge first in Rome, and, on the approach of Ferdinand, 
in Milan. On the proclamation of the Parthenopean 
Republic he hastened to Naples to serve his country 
once more. 

This first provisional Government was divided into 
five committees for the different administrations, and 
all their resolutions were at first subject to the sanction 
of Championnet as commander-in-chief. Their first task 
was naturally the construction of the new constitution. 
This was the work of Pagano, based chiefly on that of 

1 Cronachetta, MS. (Biblioteca Nazionale), quoted by B. CROCE : 
Studii Storici sulla Rivoluzione Napoletana del 1799, p. 255. 


the French Republic, inspired by enthusiastic admiration 
of the heroic aspect of ancient Greece and Rome ; but of 
course, whatever its merits and its wisdom, it could be 
at best but an artificial, academic production, and not 
the outgrowth of the pressing need or conscious rights 
of the whole people, whose sufferings were still for the 
most part inarticulate. 

In his first address to the crowd of citizens at San 
Lorenzo (the ancient municipal palace of the city), Pagano 
reminded his hearers that " Liberty is seated upon a 
throne of arms, of tributes, and of virtues ; that in a 
republic there is no repose from fighting, no diminishing 
of the tributes, unless there is excess of virtue." Further- 
more, he urged the "young men burning for liberty, who 
betray yourselves by the joy shining in your eyes, hear 
the advice of one who has grown grey not so much in 
years, as in the troubles of his country and in the sufferings 
of prison, fly to arms, and under arms be obedient to 
your commanders. Republics are adorned by all virtues, 
but the most splendid is seen in the camp." 

In truth, however, Pagano and his colleagues were 
far from assigning to arms and military valour this 
important part in the sum of things. These eminent men, 
lawyers and advocates, ecclesiastics, professors of ancient 
Greek, of mathematics and chemistry, poets and orators, 
who found themselves charged suddenly with the govern- 
ment of a new-born republic, were by the nature of their 
studies hitherto floating in an atmosphere grown sacred 
through long persecution and suffering. They were 
philosophers, for the most part, full of benevolence towards 
their fellow-creatures, consumed with love of justice, 
admiration of liberty, and ready to sacrifice their all, 
their very lives, for their ideals and their duty. They 
seem to have been quite unconscious of anything in 
their day and their surroundings (except the direct action 
of the " tyrant " and his adherents) which could offer 
serious resistance to the beneficent wave of well-being 


Hanged, November u, 1799. 
(From a miniature in the Museum at San Martino.) 

[To face p. 126. 


that was to spread from the central heart of the new 
Republic to its utmost provinces. Ardent admirers of what 
was admirable in the French Revolution, it did not occur 
to them that there was an enormous and radical difference 
between the kingdom of France and the kingdom of 
Naples, in the manner of the two revolutions, and between 
the people who had carried their revolution through 
three years of incessant deadly struggle and the people 
who had been constantly and frantically averse to it, 
and had succumbed to it at last by force from without, 
and but too probably in appearance only. They over- 
looked, moreover, the significance of the fact that the 
French had destroyed their king, and either destroyed or 
driven away his partisans ; while the King of Naples 
was still in his own dominions, still a king, and surrounded 
by the main body of his friends, and had the entire 
populace on his side. 1 

The new republicans had no traditions of any kind of 
popular government to work upon. The Neapolitans, 
unlike the Sicilians, had never had a parliament, nor 
any kind of assembly, no voice in public matters beyond 
a share in the election of their municipal representative. 2 
The systems of all the governments of Naples hitherto 
had been full of abuses, arbitrary, absolute, capricious. 
The laws were a tangle of contradictions. Industries, 
arts, commerce, all the chief business and occupations of 
life were hampered by a thousand restrictions, by taxes 
and duties and tithes ; the people were subject to forced 
levies for the militia, to feudal service, to inquisitions, 

1 See, for ample discussion of these ideas, VINCENZO Coco : 
S*ggto Storico sulla Rivoluzione di Napoli (1799], e sulla vita 
dell' autore, per Mariano D'Ayala. Napoli, 1861. 

2 The queen notices this difference as soon as she is at 
Palermo, and writes to her daughter: " Ici est un autre pays, 
on est constitutionnel, le Roi n'a pas un sou sans 1'aveu du 
Parlament, la justice, le tout a des autres regies, et enfin tout 
est sur un pied tres different, il lefaut souffrir. . ." HELFERT : 
Fabrizio Ruffo, etc., p. 523. 


to the accusations of spies, and the arbitrary jurisdiction 
of the police. 

But the people, unfortunately for their well-wishers, did 
not much mind. The Neapolitans, lazy by nature, were 
born in manifold servitude, bred in darkest ignorance, 
inured to suffering and privation, devoid of ambition ; 
for all spiritual light following and clinging fanatically 
to the superstitions of priests no less ignorant than 
themselves. Some were ready to rebel against their 
feudal lords ; but here in the main the royal Government 
had been for them, not against them. These masses of 
people were not in revolt ; they were ready for anarchy 
if ever the strong hand that held them down should 
relax its grip, but their dreams were only of plunder. 
If the terms " Liberty " and " Equality," which were now 
dinned into their dull ears, had for them any meaning 
at all, they meant liberty to do each as he liked best, 
and equality in the appropriation of other people's 
goods. 1 

Any one who knows the Neapolitans of to-day knows 
them as they were then, and can imagine the good 
temper with which a crowd would listen to some student 
orator thundering against the tyrant and his satellites, 
raving of Claudius and Messalina, of Parthenope and the 
Sebeto, of liberty and equality and patriotism and knows 
how egregiously he would deceive himself if he took 
their attention to be anything beyond the acquiescence 
which befits the peasant when " his excellency " is pleased 
to talk. And if his excellency should have thought 
fit to harangue his audience in the Italian of cultivated 
people, it would have been lucky for his vanity if he 

1 Witness these lines of a song popular in Naples in 1800 : 

venuto lo francese 
Co 1 'no mazzo de carte immano 
Libertl, Egalitt, Fraternity 
Tu rubbi a me, io rubbo a tte ! 

Here we have the popular conception in a nutshell: " Tu rubbi 
a me, io rubbo a tte ! " 


did not hear, on descending from his platform, one say 
to another with a shrug and a smile, " lo non lo capisc', 
o frances' ! " (" For my part, I don't understand French.") 

But now there were no more "excellencies," all 
were citizens. " What means ' citizen ' ? " asked one of 
the people of Michele il Pazzo (mad Michael), one of the 
capi-lazzari, a popular republican orator. " I know not," 
was the answer, "but it should be a good name, since 
the capezzoni [the bigwigs] have taken it for themselves." 

Here were no men conscious of rights as men and 
as citizens, breaking down by violence a power and 
luxury of which they were jealous, and rebelling against 
ills they could bear no longer ; but a temperate upper 
bourgeoisie called prematurely to the helm of State, try- 
ing, and, as the event showed, trying in vain, to awake 
in the masses a consciousness of their wants and a 
desire for those better things they were so anxious to 

The Parthenopean Republic was proclaimed on Jan- 
uary 23rd, and on February 2nd Eleonora Fonseca 
Pimentel brought out the first number of the Monitore 
Napoletano, dated, as befitted such a Republic, \%th Piovoso. 
In the second number, of the ijth Piovoso, she already 
draws attention to this matter of the popular ignorance : 
" Many zealous citizens," she writes, " publish daily civic 
and eloquent allocutions addressed to the people ; it would 
be, however, desirable to compose some destined especially 
for that part of them which is called the populace \plebe\ 
proportioned to their intelligence and even in their own 
language \i.e. in dialect]. We invite the Government to 
establish civic missions, as there were formerly those simply 
religious, and we invite the large number of our no less 
learned than patriotic and zealous Ecclesiastics, who are 
already experienced in persuading the people, to lend 
themselves to this work, even without the order or 
invitation of the Government. 

" He who does wrong is never completely guilty as long 



as he is ignorant ; perfect justice therefore obliges us to 
instruct the populace before condemning it, and every 
moment is late for this instruction." 

A notice in the same number shows that Championnet 
was also aware of this serious flaw in their new state. 

" General Championnet, himself co-operating to recall 
to civic sentiments that part of the seduced populace 
which has shewn itself most refractory, was present on 
Sunday February 3rd at the setting up of the tree of 
Liberty in the Piazza, del Molo Piccolo, and with largesse 
encouraged those people to enrol themselves under our 
National flag, offering them patents in French, that they 
may be more respected." 

Alas for Eleonora Pimentel ! with her na'fve flattery of 
the priests, " no less learned than patriotic," and her touch- 
ing faith in her civic missions and patriotic functions 
combined with largesse \ 

Naples is, and must always have been, exceedingly 
beautiful ; but its beauty all lies in its position, the group- 
ing of the buildings about its heights and dells, its glow 
of light and colour, its wealth of flowers and fruitful trees 
and orange gardens set everywhere among the terraced 
houses above all, in the blue mountains that lie circling 
round it, in Vesuvius, and the azure sea and azure sky. If 
one walk about its streets, old or new, scarcely a beautiful 
building meets the eye. To find interest and beauty one 
must know something of its story, and then, among other 
things, even the monstrous wooden crucifixes often to be 
seen at the meeting of several ways, or in the piazze that 
mark centres for different groups of population, will take 
on a thrilling, pitiful interest. In these spots the tree of 
liberty was once set up ; hither came the generous and 
kind-hearted Championnet, with all that was best in Naples 
a hundred years ago, to patronise the rejoicings, to animate 
the gross crowd with their fiery eloquence, and try to 
stimulate their stillborn patriotism with dancing, largesse, 
and refreshments. These crosses and other monuments 


were put up afterwards to purify the spot where Vinfame 
albero had stood. In the Piazza del Molo Piccolo, not 
many paces from the Immaccolatella, where the stranger 
arrives by sea at Naples, is a small obelisk of lava, with 
marble tablets on the four sides, bearing Latin inscriptions 
all alluding to the Cross as the fair tree of salvation. 

The conversion and instruction of the populace was 
an ever-recurring theme of Eleonora Pimentel in the 
Monitore. We find her thanking a " deserving citizen," 
who, acting upon her invitation, has published a popular 
address in dialect, and, while praising and thanking him 
in the name of all patriots, she exhorts others to follow 
his example. She is persuaded that nothing is lacking 
to a perfect understanding between one class and another 
but a system of national education that should elevate 
the populace (flebe) into the people (popolo). 

But the inexorable pressure of the realities of life left 
no time for working out this large idea ; and the redoubt- 
able monster had to be petted and flattered, praised and 
made much of, and treated with the utmost benevolent 
condescension in the hope of inducing it to be good. She 
proposes, further, that a popular gazette shall be brought 
out, in dialect, with extracts from the more important 
news of the day and from the laws and provisions of the 
Government, to be read on Sundays from all the pulpits. 
If the Republic could have gained the priests, this might 
have been done, but the mass of them were one with the 
populace. She suggests, further, that the six municipal 
centres of the city should each employ and pay a person 
to read this paper after dinner to the groups of people 
taking their afternoon leisure. Besides this, she proposes 
in all good faith and with most earnest gravity that 
the Punch-and-Judy shows, and other portable popular 
theatres, and the Rinaldi, who declaim (and do so still) 
the legends of the paladins of Charlemagne, should be 
persuaded to represent republican subjects and to sing 
patriotic songs. 


At this critical outset of the career of the Republic, 
when a strong force and a high hand Pagano's " throne 
of arms," in fact would have been the only hope of 
making good her precarious footing, the Government were 
pursuing this same humane, but, under the circumstances, 
impracticable idea of Eleonora Pimentel. The populace 
must be educated. Show them the way, which ignorance 
has hitherto prevented them from seeing, and of course 
they will walk in it 

So commissioners were despatched into all the 
provinces, with full powers to organise the communes 
in conformity with the new order. With the commissoners 
were sent a swarm of " democratisers " (democratizzaton)^ 
without powers or pay, who were to expound the benefits 
of republican government. Many of these were full of 
genuine enthusiasm, and not probably on that account 
more useful to the cause they sought to serve than the 
rest. Many were of that sort, common everywhere and 
always, but more prominent when orders are changing 
and there is a chance of spoil, who make their gain on 
the mistakes, losses, necessities, and misfortunes of their 
fellow-men. These all trooped into the provinces, in many 
of which the Republic had but the slenderest rootlet here 
and there ; and while the commissioners pulled down and 
set up and upset and laid citizens by the ears in their 
attempts to organise the Republic, the democratisers, 
mostly very young, poured forth a flood of babble about 
the rights of man, liberty of conscience, royal tyranny, 
and so forth, often bewildering and irritating the simple 
provincial people, whose only grievance was against the 
feudal system, and who felt an instinctive distrust and 
dislike of all these new-fangled notions. 

However, many communes immediately gave in their 
adherence to the Republic ; many yielded an apparent 
and temporary submission to the force of circumstances ; 
but;many more remained loyal to Ferdinand and in open 
rebellion against the new order. 


But it is one thing, says Vincenzo Coco, to draw up 
a model republican constitution, and another thing to 
found a republic. Coco's strong common sense and 
consequent coolness, not to say coldness, of judgment, 
true patriot and republican though he was, seem to have 
alienated him from the members of the new Government, 
whose hot enthusiasm could ill brook his chilling wisdom. 
His brilliant Historical Essay on the Revolution of Naples, 
written in exile in 1800, remains to this day one of 
the most philosophical and best written books upon the 
subject, although it retains always something of the 
bitterness of the wise man who has seen his counsels 
rejected. 1 

The abolition of the law of primogeniture, of the feudal 
system, and of ecclesiastical tithes and other manifold 
rights which had degenerated into abuses, was among the 
first considerations of the Government. Primogeniture 
was abolished without giving very great offence ; but when 
it came to the feudal system, and the touching of the 
property of ecclesiastical and religious bodies, the ultra- 
republicans and copiers of France were for abolishing 
everything out of hand. The more conscientious and truly 
patriotic men, especially Mario Pagano, were for going 
slowly and doing things little by little. But for want 
of agreement and decision among those who stood at 
the head of affairs, matters were in fact allowed to settle 
themselves according to the caprice of such persons as 
came in practice to take action one way or another. 
Many communes took the law into their own hands, and 
divided the feudal lands ; it would have been far better 
for the Revolution had they . all done so. But the 
reluctance of the Republic to take action in the matter 
of ecclesiastical abuses bred evil, because the fine intuition 
of the populace, never at fault in these things, divined at 
once the weakness of the Government, while the spectacle 
of daily insults and outrages to priests and on religion, 

1 VINCENZO Coco : Saggio Storico sulla Rivoluzione di Napoli. 


committed with impunity, led to the inference that such 
acts expressed the sentiments which the Government 
was afraid openly to avow 

And so all the bands of the old order were loosened or 
set aside, but the new order failed to replace them with 
anything as binding. 

Troops of disbanded soldiers from the scattered army 
of Ferdinand infested the provinces, and together with the 
feudal men-at-arms of the barons and of the bishops, 
whose occupation was gone, lived by rapine and brigandage. 
In the small towns of Puglia, Basilicata, Terra d'Otranto, 
Terra di Bari, etc., the Republic had been duly proclaimed, 
and the armigeri, or men-at-arms, of the royal Government 
expelled. These kept together, and, banded with the 
lowest of the populace, seized their opportunity for cutting 
down the newly planted trees of liberty, rioting, forcing 
the people to change their tricolour cockades for the red 
one of the Bourbon, committing more or less of outrage 
as chance favoured them more or less, and setting the ill- 
directed, badly organised, and scanty forces of the amateur 
Republic at defiance. Here and there the adherents of the 
Republic were strong enough to put down the tumults, 
and to replant the tree of liberty; but more often the 
counter-revolution was the stronger. 1 

Long before the Republic was a month old Eleonora 
Pimentel reports in the Monitore " most unpalatable news " 
from the interior, and describes the state of civil strife, 
intimately connected with family feuds and personal 
rancours and revenges, that is desolating the Molise, 
Basilicata, and Puglia, from many of whose communes 
come reports of bloodshed and tragedy. 

" But what," she asks, " is to be the remedy for so great 
and terrible an evil ? Are we to burn the communes and 
shoot all who are taken with arms ? No . . ." because many 
of the offenders have only obeyed superior force. It would 

1 See GIACOMO RACIOPPI : Storia dei Popoli delta Lucania e 
delta Basilicata. Roma, E. Loescher &. Co., 1889. Vol. II. 


be well, therefore, she says, that the French arms should 
accompany and support the commissioners of the Govern- 
ment, who, as ministers of peace, making a mere salutary 
show of force, would be able effectively to proclaim pardon 
to all who should immediately return to their allegiance. 

The conquests of the French in South Italy, however, 
were not made, as many of their admirers were able to 
imagine, out of the pure desire to spread ever farther the 
blessings of liberty; money had to be raised for their 
perpetual campaigning, and their philanthropy was not 
going to carry them far beyond the capital. 

If the eyes of the republicans had been clearer, and 
if they had been sufficiently organised among themselves 
beforehand, they would have had a better position by 
proclaiming the Republic immediately on the flight of the 
king, independently of French help. In what a different 
light might they have regarded the coming of the French 
if they had reflected that it was not till three years after 
the death of Bassville that his assassination was made the 
pretext for the invasion of Rome ! What a salutary dis- 
illusion they might have experienced could they only 
have cast an eye over the project, sent by the Directory 
to Buonaparte at Milan, a year or two before, for the 
surprising of the Holy House of Loreto and the carrying 
off of " the immense treasures which superstition had 
accumulated there during fifteen centuries " " a stupen- 
dous financial operation " which " could harm no one 
beyond a few friars," which Buonaparte eventually 
executed ! 

It had become part of French tactics in Italy to invade 
rapidly, and only retire when peace had been bought 
at an enormous price. What millions of francs, what 
hundreds of pictures, statues, manuscripts, and priceless 
works of art had not gradually been extorted, under one 
pretext or another, in the beneficent shadow of the 
branches of the Tree of Liberty ! 

And now, while the provisional Government was busy 


abolishing titles of nobility, decreeing the name of tyrant 
to the king, destroying the public symbols of the late 
royal Government, and dividing the ancient provinces 
of the kingdom into departments and cantons according 
to the new republican fancy, the army of their liberators 
was living at their expense. Championnet, formally 
remitting the sum agreed upon with Pignatelli as the 
price of the armistice, levied an indemnity of two and 
a half million ducats upon the city and fifteen million 
upon the provinces, to be paid within two months. 
This at a time of which Palermo wrote : " The public 
banks were in a state of horrible squalor, because of the 
specie which private persons had deposited there, which 
had been withdrawn by the Court. Various projects 
were made to remedy the evil, but all in vain. Many 
millions were wanting to fill the deficit ; these were not 
forthcoming, and exchange went up to 90 per cent. I 
myself who write this 'sketch' am an eye-witness. In 
those days my Father gave me a fede di credito [i.e. a 
banknote or bill] for 200 ducats, to exchange in the 
market place for ready money. I took it to the little 
shop of Pietro Gatti, in Toledo, and got in exchange 
20 ducats in silver." 1 

The ruined city could not meet the exorbitant demand. 
In the absence of any comprehensible financial statistics, 
the Government taxed departments, communes, private 
persons necessarily at random, and their best efforts 
only roused indignation and complaint on all sides. In 
the absence of money, people were told to bring such 
plate and jewels as still remained to them, to be valued 
by the Government agents, and received instead of money. 
Much heart-burning came of this, and still more from 
the injustice with which the taxes were distributed, more 
regard being had to political opinions than to the ability 

1 EMANUELE PALERMO : Breve Cenno Storico Critico su la 
Repubblica Napoletana MS., in the Biblioteca Nazionale at Naples, 
quoted in the Rivista Novissima, Fasc. XV.-XVI., p. 624. 

W L ' 





O <j 

w a 


to contribute. Such an arbitrary system gave room for 
flagrant injustice and cruel extortion. 

A deputation of five members of the Government 
waited upon the general and remonstrated, begging at 
least for delay. But Championnet was inexorable, and 
interrupted their eloquence with a rough " Vae victis ! " 

Gabriele Manthone, one of the five, a captain of artillery, 
" giant in soul and in person," as Colletta describes him, 
broke out in indignation : 

"Thou, Citizen General," he cried, "hast soon forgot 
that we are not, thou the conqueror, we the vanquished," 
and reminded the Frenchman of the real state of the 
case, and suggested that he should evacuate the city 
and see how he could get in again without the help of 
the Neapolitans. 

Technically, Manthone was right, but their position 
left them no choice. Championnet insisted on the in- 
demnity, and ordered the disarming of all the people who 
were not of the civic guard. The Republic remained 
with only six hundred men under arms in the capital. 
It was but a barren consolation to remember the dictum 
of the Rights of Man that "in a Republic every free citizen 
is a soldier " : a soldier without arms is in a melancholy 

The French were suspicious of any efforts on the part 
of the Republic to stand alone, and with the French army 
at hand the Republic scarcely perceived how destitute it 
was of adequate means of defence, until the time for 
organising that defence to any purpose was gone by. 
Cool sense and promptitude would now have served the 
republicans better than any mere enthusiasm. As Coco 
points out, they might have had at their disposal ample 
material for forming an army. There were, he says, thirty 
thousand men of the royal army who still held together 
and represented the flower of the Neapolitan forces, as 
they were the last to lay down their arms ; of these the 
camiciotti had especially distinguished themselves against 


the French in the last struggle, and had been all taken 
prisoners. Instead of recognising their courage and 
patriotism, the republicans bore them the greater grudge, 
and, their services being disdained by the new Government, 
they remained free in Naples, maintained, as is most 
probable, by secret agents of the queen, who swarmed 
everywhere and never lost an opportunity. Officers of 
the royal army were told, in a stupid and haughty pro- 
clamation, that men who had served the tyrant could hope 
nothing from a republic. These rejected officers, whose 
service of their king need have been no bar to the 
service of their country, were thus driven to long the 
more ardently for the return of the monarch. And 
although, in fact, the services of many among them 
were eventually accepted, this high-flown language cost 
the republicans very dear. Equally fatal was the over- 
sight committed in leaving all the discharged feudal 
men-at-arms to roam masterless about the defenceless 
provinces, bound to rob or starve, instead of taking them 
at once into the service of the Republic. " They are 
all scoundrels," said some of the hot-headed republicans, 
forgetting, as Coco says, that not all men are heroes, 
and for the rest leaving them no choice. 

If the French had ever made common cause with the 
Neapolitans, who from the first had cherished far too 
na'fve a faith in the disinterested philanthropy of the 
French Republic (as if any nation ever were disinterested !), 
they would have lost no time from the outset in enrolling 
all these disbanded soldiers of all kinds in the service of 
the new Republic. Instead, the republicans were encour- 
aged to declaim against the " vile satellites of the tyrant," 
while every idle soldier not speedily made a friend was 
sure to be an enemy, and in any case ate and drank at 
the expense of the country. It even seems that where the 
French found it worth their while to linger, where so 
much valuable booty was eventually plundered, and 
when the forfeited estates and goods of the republicans 


yielded later on such a rich harvest to their triumphant 
enemies, a few capable and determined men might have 
made an army in spite of French opposition and all other 
difficulties. As a rule money comes to those who know 
how to use it. But the French preferred to let the ill-fated 
republicans sow wind in all directions, indifferent to the 
coming whirlwind, from which they themselves were safe. 

The souls of the men in power iwere strung too high 
by finding themselves destined to realise the ideal they 
had admired and suffered for so long. It had actually 
come at last, and they vied with one another which 
should be the most perfect republican. Typical among 
the younger patriots is Vincenzo Russo. He had been 
exiled from Naples, and at the time of the Republic 
had gone to Rome. Addressing there the members of 
the new Constitutional Club, and fulminating against 
the " revolting luxury " he observed in the quantity of 
gold upon the hats, the breeches, and the waistcoats of 
his hearers, he declared such luxury anti-democratic, and 
spoke with such fire that one and all stripped off their 
trimmings and gave them then and there to be sold 
for the poor. The next evening Russo, an unconscious 
but most true follower of St. Francis, took off his silver 
watch, " the only thing of any value which he, in his 
poverty, possessed," and gave it for the poor. When 
he came back to Naples it is written of him by Marinelli : 
" He was disinterested to the point that he gave every- 
thing to help his fellow-creatures ; he lived upon a few 
grant [pieces of 2 centimes] a day, buying a little food 
and eating it as he went along the street ; in his house 
he had barely a little bed to sleep upon ; he loved all 
men to excess." 1 

1 This was the man, alone of all the political victims of that 
year, whom the Church disowned, and condemned to be buried 
as an outcast on the seashore at the Maddalena, because he 
refused to pronounce, at his last hour, words which for him had 
no meaning. 


With this " excess," which he carried fervently wherever 
he found work to do, he was a perfect whirlwind among 
the philosophers of the legislative council, of which, in 
April, he was called to form a part. His first public 
act was to demand an examination of all the accounts 
of the provisional Government, now superseded by a 
legislative and an executive council. The new liberty, 
and especially the reluctance of those in power to impose 
any check upon absolute freedom of speech, had loosened 
all tongues ; the old habit of suspicion and the new 
licence to discuss everybody and everything in public 
bred accusations and scandals. Russo was anxious 
that no suspicion should be allowed to rest upon the 
Government. To expedite public business he proposed 
that the councils should hold two sittings daily; but 
Domenico Cirillo gave it as his opinion that the health 
of the members might suffer. Russo's next proposal, 
on April I7th, was the creation of two books, the first 
"Of Patriotism" (DelF amor di Patria\ to contain the 
renunciation by those who held any public office of 
the whole or part of their salary, according to their 
private means ; the second, " Of the Duties of Citizens " 
(Dei doveri del cittadini), for the names of those whose 
private condition made an increase of salary desirable 
and just. Although the motion for fixing public salaries at 
a sum not exceeding fifty ducats a month was adjourned 
at the time, there appeared a placard on the 2oth in 
public places announcing that Pagano, the President, 
had renounced half his salary, and had been followed 
by all the other representatives, and by many employes, 
who had given up some half, some a third. 1 

But in a moment when the very existence of the 
Republic was in the balance, and depended upon the 
immediate formation and equipment of a valid army 
and upon the reorganisation of the shattered finances, 
when English ships were at Baia and insurrection 
1 Diario Naoletano, etc., Anno XXIV., Fasc II., p. 112. 


convulsed the provinces, there was no time to be lost 
over questions such as these. But the end of April 
came and found the legislative council still discussing 
the organisation of the National Guard. 

The diarist De Nicola reflects the comments of the 
public standing aloof: "It is said that they have drawn 
up an iniquitous Constitution," he writes ; " I shall always 
say this same thing : the Government and the French 
do not know how to make the people love the revolu- 
tion and search out means of constantly increasing the 
discontent. And the real fact is, there is no one in 
the Council who has experience of politics and good 
government ; there is a want of prudence, of conduct, 
of religion. Among the French there is bad faith and 
the desire to plunder. . . . Oh ! how many would gladly 
return into their former insignificance ! " * 

Reading in the Monitore the accounts of the proposals 
in the sittings of the commission, of the proclamations 
issued, and the petitions and counter-petitions on each 
subject of discussion, and considering how very small 
a sample we have before us of the polemics of the day, 
one can form an idea of the confusion and the clamour 
that surrounded those whose business it was to steer the 

A proclamation is put up at the street corners announc- 
ing the regulations for the formation of a body of national 
cavalry. The scrupulous, almost precious, republicanism 
of Eleonora Pimentel immediately takes alarm. Avail- 
ing herself of the right to petition common to every 
individual under a Republic, and " with a mind illumined 
by the sacred fire of liberty," she hastens to pray that 
the commission may immediately occupy itself with the 
reflections which she proceeds to lay before it. 

Each citizen, it appears, who inscribed himself to the 
new corps was to provide at his own expense uniform, 
arms, and horse. " This novelty, unheard of in any other 
1 Diario, etc., Ibid., p. 99. 


republic (not even in the Mother Republic), threatens 
public liberty," writes the petitioner. Wealth, she points 
out, is a source of civil and moral power, because the 
wealthy have means of culture denied to the poor. If 
to this power we proceed to add physical force, we create 
an armed aristocracy in our midst. The formation of 
this troop of national cavalry tends, she urges, to place 
a most odious distinction between the rich and the not 
rich. In the name of liberty and of the safety of the 
Republic she prays the commission not only to stop 
the formation, already begun, of the cavalry troops, 
but to insert a clause in the constitution against such 
troops ever being formed in the future. Meanwhile, she 
invites the commission to stimulate the young men to 
acquire dexterity in horsemanship, the wealthy to share 
their horses with their poorer friends, and to censure 
those young men who (to the reproach of their age and 
of those customs which should prevail in a well-constituted 
Republic) indulge in the effeminacy of driving in coaches. 

To this petition of Eleonora Pimentel we have the 
answer of Gennaro Serra di Cassano, second in command 
of the National Guard. He thanks her with playful 
courtesy for her " interest in our revolution, or rather, in 
our happiness. We must," he writes, " according to my 
belief, begin by being before we occupy ourselves about 
well being. Unfortunately we have still many enemies, 
to whom we can oppose nothing but a National guard, 
barely formed. This, I doubt not, will save the nation ; 
we have the guarantee of their zeal and courage ; but let 
us meanwhile redouble our means of defence. . . . Let 
us remember that to guard so vast a capital cavalry is 
absolutely necessary. When the Government shall have 
organised regular troops of the line, they may then declare 
a National guard on foot to be sufficient. . . . Heaven 
grant that the people, good in the main, but led astray 
in part, may soon recognise their rights, and then to 
them alone will be entrusted their defence, and every 


other measure will become superfluous. The most valid 
shield of a sovereign people is the love of their country." 
He alludes to the " system of disorganisation that un- 
happily begins to make progress among us," and concludes 
with a salutary warning : " Let no stone be taken away 
from the edifice of our regeneration, without putting 
another in its stead ; otherwise ruin will be inevitable." 

This proposed troop of cavalry was to consist, after 
all, of only two hundred and fifty men, besides officers. 
He had plenty of sense, this young captain of twenty- 
four, and plenty of energy. He was a son of the beautiful 
Giulia Carafa, Duchess of Cassano, one of those two noble 
sisters to whom, for their self-sacrificing patriotism, the 
Republic first decreed the name of Madre delta Patria. 
Gennaro Serra had been partly educated in France, and 
had seen something of revolution there, and knew that 
such things mean fighting. In a few months more he 
and Eleonora Pimentel stood side by side upon the 


The Monitore and Eleonora Recall of Championnet Macdonald 
Faitpoult The Court begins to recover Armed insurrection 
in many centres Fra Diavolo Mammone Pronio Un- 
readiness of the republicans Arrival of Caracciolo Luisa 
Sanfelice and the conspiracy of the Baccher Ferment among 
the populace Withdrawal of the French The miracle of San 

FOLLOWING the course of the Monitore, one can 
live in the Naples of those days, sharing the hopes, 
destined to dwindle and grow faint, and the fears, rising 
and swelling and coming on in ever-gathering force until 
Republic and republicans were overwhelmed. 

From the beginning the views from the interior are 
"very distasteful [disgustosissime] and, what is worse, 
confused." One can well believe it. For tidings, the 
public and their purveyors of news had to depend upon 
occasional letters brought by special messengers from the 
scenes of action, or upon the accounts given by vetturini 
of the state of such parts as they had just passed through. 

From Abruzzi come the news that a certain Pronio, 
under pretence of defending the holy faith, has put him- 
self at the head of two thousand men, and is attacking 
the French forces left in Aquila and Pescara ; then that 
the French have beaten these insurgents and driven them 
into Ascoli, killing three hundred of them. From many 
cities of the Contado di Molise it is rumoured that 
malcontents, uniting with the disbanded soldiers, have 
attacked the patriots i.e. such communes as have declared 



for the Republic killing many, and holding the rest in 
terror of their lives. Then comes a memorial from the 
young patriots of the Abruzzi and Molise, praying the 
Government to demand of the general-in-chief permission 
to arm, and to send a commander, under whom they 
may fly to the succour of their native cities, holding 
themselves ready to start within twenty-four hours. 

" For the present no answer has been given to the 
petition." These words are significant of the distrust 
which led the French to keep the people as much as 
possible unarmed, thus frustrating their only chance of 
valid defence. Eleonora, however, professes to believe, for 
the good of the public, that Championnet has despatched 
three thousand men to the assistance of the provinces. 

At these rumours of renewed civil war the humane 
and gentle soul of Eleonora Pimentel recoils, picturing 
manifold repetition of such scenes as those from which 
Naples had but just emerged. She is sure these tumults 
will soon be quieted. She trusts, since the number of 
good patriots is great, that there will be no exercise of 
martial law, no burning of villages, no wholesale reprisals 
where punishment falls on the innocent together with 
the guilty. No doubt, she says, many of the rebels are 
under illusion, and the death of every man capable of 
amendment is a real loss in a democracy, and so on, 
and so on. Between the lines full of republican logic 
and flattery of the French one can read an earnest 
appeal to commanders and soldiers to be merciful. 

From Calabria and Apulia the tidings are more 
consoling. Wherever the Government commissioner has 
passed, leaving his instructions, there the cities have 
" democratised " themselves and set up the tree of liberty. 

As the Monitore proceeds, it becomes evident that the 
greater part of the arms taken by the populace in January 
have never been brought back ; there is a suspicion that 
they are being kept hidden by the lazzari lying in wait 
for an occasion to serve the king. Championnet sends 



out a proclamation ordering their immediate consignment, 
and offering rewards to any who should denounce those 
who were unlawfully keeping them back. A few arrests 
are made on suspicion, but on the whole nothing much 
comes of many domiciliary visits and perquisitions. The 
reader feels, and we shall shortly see, that potent mischief 
was brewing. 

On February pth the Monitore publishes letters from 
the two communes of Trani and Barletta, declaring in 
most flowery and enthusiastic language their adherence to 
the Republic, followed by the answers of the Government, 
full of congratulation and encouragement, and promising 
shortly to send instructions, together with commissioners 
who are to complete the work of organisation. 

Within a few days news has come that the writers 
of the letters from Trani and Barletta are already in 
chains. The paper reports that armed bands infest the 
country, attack the towns, levy contributions, rob the 
banks, and force peaceful citizens to arm and follow 
them. The announcement of the departure of the three 
thousand French troops, it seems, was premature. To-day, 
however (Feb. 12), General Duhesme has begun the march 
southward with five thousand men. 

In the middle of these and like agitations are reported 
the debates upon the abolition of entail and of the rights 
of primogeniture, with many glimpses into the considera- 
tions, for and against, that swayed the discussions, until 
the, final passing of the law abolishing the rights for the 
future, but maintaining present possession. 

Then appears upon the scene, sent by the Directory at 
Paris (moved thereto by enemies of Championnet), a cer- 
tain citizen Faitpoult as civil commissioner. This newcomer 
posts up an edict to the effect that all contributions, 
taxes, and other payments imposed on the Neapolitans 
by French officers are to be paid to him alone. He 
further declares all possessions of the Crown of Naples, 
palaces, collections, royal preserves, the antiquities, 


[To face p. 146. 


as yet undiscovered, of Pompei and Herculaneum, the 
porcelain factory of Capodimonte, and so forth, all forfeit 
to France. Championnet, indignant at this " bare-faced, 
audacious robbery," with the prompt independence of 
judgment and action that marks all we find him doing, 
orders the expulsion within twenty-four hours from 
Naples, and within ten days from the territories of the 
Neapolitan and Roman Republics, of Faitpoult and all 
his agents, treasurers, receivers, and the rest. 

This action gave the desired pretext for recalling 
Championnet, who was forthwith summoned to Paris to 
take his trial for rebellion before a council of war. He 
was acquitted eventually and given a new command, 
but he died not long afterwards, cordially regretted by 
the Neapolitan patriots, who had found him, as even 
the Austrian chargt d'affaires described him to his 
Government, " a man of gentle and courteous manners, 
full of moderation and humanity." 

His departure was a great blow. His own chief regret 
was that he had been unable to regulate the heavy 
contribution he had levied on the city and on the 
provinces in a way better proportioned to their condition, 
having come to see for himself that the demand was 
preposterous and its fulfilment impossible. In his place 
came General Macdonald, who brought back the abhorred 
Faitpoult. Henceforth such items of news as regard the 
doings of the French generals are given with a certain 
reserve, and one perceives a strained relation and new 
sense of soreness and distrust. Faitpoult had come to 
see to it that the fleecing of the Neapolitans was 
thoroughly done. 

Bad news gradually becomes the rule instead of the 
exception. * The Bourbon party, recovering from their 
consternation, and perceiving the weakness of the Republic, 
began more and more actively to foment revolt in the 
provinces. While the tardy Republicans and their cool 
French allies were for ever getting under way, announcing 


their departure for those remote scenes of disorder and 
misrule, and never starting, certain outlaws and brigands, 
who had nothing to lose and everything to gain, who 
were not hampered by tender considerations for the 
rights of man, and cared in truth neither for Republic 
nor for king, but who saw well enough which side was 
likely to win, rallied the dispersed Bourbon soldiers, the 
disaffected, the noted adherents of the king, the numbers 
of irregular police who dared not remain in the capital, 
the discharged feudal soldiery, and formed armed bands 
in many centres. Hence, under the eternal pretext of 
serving religion and the king, they made raids upon 
the towns, assassinating all who resisted, forcing the 
inhabitants to declare for the king, and carrying off food 
and spoil. In the Campania Felice, that beautiful fertile 
plain, dotted with towns and villages, which extends 
from Naples till past Capua, Fra Diavolo, with a horde 
of wild soldiery, was master. At Sora it was the fright- 
ful brigand Mammone who spread terror on all sides. 
This monster delighted to drink human blood to drink 
it, moreover, out of a human skull, of which he liked 
to have a fresh one every day. For his own delectation 
and that of his robber captains, he used to send for his 
prisoners and have them despatched before him as he 
sat eating and drinking. 

The strongholds of these bands were in the mountains, 
whence they descended to cut off small parties of soldiers, 
to waylay, rob, and murder posts and messengers and 
other travellers between the city and the provinces. 

In Basilicata, Colletta considers that the political senti- 
ment was based chiefly on ancient feuds and hereditary 
rivalries between neighbour towns, kept alive by con- 
stant fighting. It was enough for one townlet to plant 
the tree of liberty ; its neighbour instantly " invites " it 
to cut it down, and sallies out to enforce the invitation 
in the name of the king. The two parties would fight 
as long as a scrap of lead could be mustered between 


them. Scenes of the kind occurred daily, with more 
or less of horror in detail ; any town that failed to defend 
itself was burned and sacked. 

The Bourbon party spread the rumour in the provinces 
that Naples was in full revolt against the Republic, and 
that an English army had landed and taken possession 
of the city in the name of the king, who was now about 
to return. Suspicions of the possible truth of the rumour, 
and terror of coming reprisals, effectually cooled the 
republican ardour of all prudent persons. 

It is touching to see in the Monitore the heroic efforts 
of Eleonora Pimentel to find a cheerful way of taking 
and of putting the bad news ; the matter she discovers 
for encouragement as one fatal blow falls after another ; 
her unflagging confidence that all will yet be well ; her 
constant, earnest solicitude lest the soldiers of the Republic 
should be guilty of too great severity on those who, she 
is convinced, have erred in ignorance. When we know 
that the tidings from Molise, Puglia, and Basilicata were 
as bad as they could be, we find her rejoicing in the 
tranquillity of Calabria; "and such, no need to doubt 
it, will be the state of every part that believes Naples 
to be a Republic, and that Ferdinand, far from coming to 
Naples, is about to run away even from Palermo." 

Ferdinand was quite ready to run from Palermo had 
the republicans shown a little more vigour and capacity ; 
but unhappily for themselves and for Naples this is what 
they were never able to do. 

From a notice in the Monitore of the %th Ventoso 
(February 23rd), it appears that Pronio, the brigand leader 
in the Abruzzi, was unexpectedly humane in his treatment 
of his prisoners, and that he allowed them to write to 
their friends. In some of these letters that reached Naples 
there was a suggestion, probably originating in Pronio 
himself, that the republicans might do worse than make 
him their ally, and use his influence in quelling the 
rebellion in the Abruzzi. But the chance was let slip. 


The republicans, no doubt, recoiled from the thought of 
using such instruments. Unfortunately they could not 
make men to their own pattern ; but in their solicitude 
for the moral redemption of the populace, it escaped 
them that even the discharged or wavering " satellites 
of tyranny " might be susceptible and worthy of im- 
provement by a little timely confidence. But they were 
not politicians. Not France, not ancient Rome was good 
enough to be their model, but Sparta itself, forgetting 
the change in the times, the difference of the people. 

" Not one act of justice," says Colletta in his Auto- 
biography, "would they have sacrificed to a thousand 
interests," and the men of whom he spoke would have 
desired no higher praise. Colletta was another of those 
capable, but somewhat cold-tempered, men upon whom 
the new republicans, looked askance. In a well-established 
government such virtue would have given light to all 
Europe ; as matters were, it only served to precipitate 
the ruin of the new-born Republic. 

Coco reproaches the Neapolitans not only with military 
slackness or incapacity, but with a general ignorance of 
their own affairs. Their wise men, he says, brought up 
on French and English books, are acquainted with the 
manufactures of Birmingham and Manchester, and know 
nothing of our own ; they can talk to you of the agricul- 
ture of Provence, and ignore that of Puglia ; you will not 
find one who cannot tell you how they elect a king in 
Poland, or a Roman Emperor, and few will know how 
the administrators of one of our municipalities are elected. 
Everyone can tell you the latitude and longitude of 
Tahiti, but no one knows that of Naples. Because of our 
defective education the science we possess is useless ; for 
anything useful we have to go a-begging to other people. 

So that the republicans had Rome, Athens, and Sparta 
at their fingers' ends ; their public utterances were full 
of classical allusions and examples, but they knew next 
to nothing of the feeling in their own provincial towns. 


A little real knowledge of the local history and circum- 
stances^ of different districts, and redress, or even promise 
of redress, of actual grievances wisely adapted to differing 
wants, would have bred more confidence in the Republic 
than the poor trees of liberty set up by dozens a panacea 
for all maladies. The populace had naturally no idea of 
the significance of the new emblem. The harangues of the 
" democratisers " shed but little light upon their state of 
mystification ; some went so far as to consider it magic. 
A little capacity for seeing things through the popular 
eye would have smoothed the way of the Republic in 
many a district where commissioners and democrats went 
trampling over the dearest prejudices of the people, 
stuffing " Liberty " and " Equality " down everybody's 

" The populace is a great baby," was the conviction of 
the cultured and benignant members of the Government ; 
accordingly every little success is lauded to the skies by 
the Monitore, with phrases intended to flatter and conciliate 
" our brave patriots," " our good citizens " phrases in 
which the condescending attitude of mind is all too patent, 
and which help to show how hopelessly far the elements 
of the new state were from any real combination. A 
child of character resents being patted on the back in 
public every time it behaves with common propriety, 
and the people, with the instinct of those unaccustomed 
to reflect, knew exactly what to make of this flattering 

In some places it was the suppression of a monastery 
that the people desired ; in others such a step would have 
given the greatest offence. In some districts the quarrel 
with the feudal lords was ripe for the abolition of the 
system ; in others the time had not yet come for inter- 
ference. Further, it was an enormous mistake to depose 
men wholesale from public places simply because they 
had held office under the king ; in many districts they 
were eminently the best men for their posts. But the 


indiscriminate zeal of commissioners ignorant of local 
circumstances came to disturb a course of affairs far better 
left alone on the one hand sending new-made enemies 
to swell the ranks of their opponents, and on the other 
exposing their incapacity to the shrewd observation of 
the populace they were hoping to win. 

However, to us, who can take a tolerably clear bird's- 
eye view of those days, looking down through a hundred 
years, it is simple enough to say : thus and thus they 
should have done. The birth of the Republic was un- 
foreseen and premature, and in five months it was dead. 
What time was there to do solid work ? It is a tragedy 
from the beginning, although there are moments when 
the spectator cannot choose but smile. The crisis, by 
its very nature, calls the noblest to the front, and as 
inexorably dooms them to fail and to pay the forfeit. 

Troubles thicken in the provinces, and the Monitore 
presents every item of good news in the brightest colours, 
magnifying the acts of heroism, which were never want- 
ing, and gliding adroitly over the disasters, which became 
more serious with every week that passed. One cannot 
be sure that the republicans themselves were not deceived 
at times, as, for instance, when towards the end of 
March the Monitore publishes the report that many 
Neapolitan troops, discharged by Ferdinand, have landed 
in Calabria, have "fought for the cause of Liberty, 
and that the citizen Muscettola, ex-prince of Luperano, 
has completely defeated the few brigands in the pay of 
Cardinal Ruffo." 

Among all these reports, true and false, of the military 
doings in the provinces, political news, debates upon the 
eternal feudal question, arrests on " suspicion of ill- 
intention," which began to increase in number as the 
troubles of the Republic multiplied, the passing of the Bill 
about Punch and Judy, and so on, are two significant 
announcements. On Sunday, March 3rd, arrives "our well- 
known, wished-for, excellent sailor Caracciolo, excellent as 


a sailor, excellent as a soldier, and still more excellent 
as a citizen [note these words], hailed by the universal 
public joy, especially by the sailors who thronged to meet 
him." This arrival of Caracciolo was already noted by 
De Nicola in his diary, where he calls him " our excellent 
sea-captain " (// nostro bravo comandante di mare). It 
is evident that Caracciolo enjoyed the hearty affection 
and confidence of all classes. Neapolitan to the core, 
yet upright and most capable, the whole city rejoiced 
in his coming. 1 

A little later on we read, " a distinguished citoyenne of 
ours, Luisa Molines Sanfelice, on Friday evening the 5th 
of April, revealed to the Government the conspiracy of a 
few persons, not more wicked than crazy, who trusting in 
the presence of the English squadron, or possibly acting 
in concert with it, had intended on the Saturday to 
massacre the members of the Government and the good 
patriots, and then to attempt a counter-revolution." So 
slightingly does Eleonora Pimentel speak of the famous 
conspiracy of the Baccher, father and sons, of the brothers 
Delia Rossa, and others less well remembered. 

This attempt to hide the extent of the danger, from 
which for the moment the Republic had escaped, is too 
palpable, and can have deceived no one. The curtain now 
partly lifted did not reveal a mere limited conspiracy 
originated and conducted by the Baccher and a few others, 
as has been generally supposed ; many documents, hitherto 
lying ignored in the archives at Palermo, have lately 
been published by Professor Sansone, 2 which prove how 
the royalist plots, discovered from time to time by the 
republicans, were all more or less parts of the same wide- 

1 There is no perfect equivalent for bravo in one English adjective. 
In Italian the word bears far more the meaning of capacity and 
of excellence than of mere courage, and brave is seldom its entire 
meaning, while it is stronger than the same adjective in French. 
Eleonora uses the same word for Caracciolo in the Monitors. 

2 ALFONSO SANSONE : Avvenimenti del ijgq nelle Due Sicilie, 
p. cxviii., et seq. 


spread conspiracy a conspiracy which had its beginning, 
as many of these letters show, among the decided royalists 
from the moment that the French entered Naples. The 
mass of the conspirators were the lazzari and the majority 
of the populace generally, enrolled in " royalist unions " 
inscribed under different heads or captains, many of whom, 
such as the Duke of Calabritto and the Duke of Salandra, 
were among the high nobility. The Court was of course 
in the secret, and sent over confidential agents with 
inflammatory fly-leaves and money which was distributed 
among the camiciotti and other destitute soldiers, "that 
they might not be driven by hunger to serve the infamous 
republic." Thus we read that on the evening of March 2nd 
the arrest was made of Francesco Lal6, " as a distributor 
of money to the Populace," and the same evening Albano, 
capo-lazzaro of the Molo Piccolo, " for the same reason." 
Lal6 was a confidential servant of the queen, as may be 
seen from her letters to Lady Hamilton at the time of 
the flight from Naples. 1 

The secret royalist organisation included a great num- 
ber of officers, public functionaries out of employment, 
and in general all who for any reason whatever were 
discontented with the present state of things. Among 
these unions was one called the Compagnia dei Bulltttini, 
whose office it was to maintain the royalist ferment in 
the city by means of seditious papers, and cartelli y or 
placards, which were found posted up upon the walls no 
one knew how. 2 

1 PALUMBO : Carteggio, etc., pp. 186, 187. 

* Such as these, put up in the early days of April, when the 
English were at Procida : Scetate Popolo, che mmo tiempo che 
son' venute /' Angrise, p* decider e li Franzise. (" Awake, people, 
for now is the time, for the English are come to kill the French." 
Rivista Novissima, p. 627. 

Fate bene ai Camiciotti, 
Venerdl sentirete le botti. 
("Treat well the Camiciotti, 
On Friday you will hear the shots.") 

Popolo, armate con mazze e breccie, e va contro ai Franzisi, 


Ruffo himself was not above using the basest methods 
of underhand warfare ; on March 3rd he wrote to 
Acton l : 

" The middle class in Naples is very merry, the lazzari 
are lying in wait to revenge themselves ; it would be 
well to make them [i.e. the republicans] think that the 
middle class have an understanding with the Court : 
letters written to divers of them, in which a conspiracy 
should be openly alluded to, would cause a few of them 
to be massacred, and would put the French on their 
guard against them, and the French, being few, would 
be loaded with excessive work, and would be led to 
forget the moderation which is now imperative in the 
conduct of their undertaking." 

In this ignoble trickery Maria Carolina and Lady 
Hamilton were in their element and found a congenial 
occupation. Witness the following from a letter of the 
queen to her confidante : 

" Counting on your friendship for me I send you a 
packet or bag full of letters ; there is not a word of 
writing amongst them, but the printed papers of which 
I send you an original ; I send them to you to have 
them diffused ; indeed all the English have to do is to 
throw them into the post at Leghorn for Naples, and 
I will pay the expenses. I do not care whether they 
all arrive or not, but some will arrive. We must beat 
them with their own weapons. I intend to prepare 
some more . . . " 3 

Only the very ignorant were deceived by these things. 
" The queen Maria Carolina," wrote Marinelli on April 2nd, 
" with pretended Republican proclamations, gave out 
that Easter is to be abolished, that Baptism is to be 

ca r Angrise P aiutano. (" People, arm with staves and stones, 
and go forth against the French, for the English are helping 
you." Riv. Nov., p. 661. 

1 Arch. Stor. Nap., Anno VIII., p. 243. 

J PALUMBO : Maria Carolina, Carteggio, etc., p. 191. 


given at seven years, and other laws on marriages. 
All lies!" 1 

Some of the conspirators were in communication with 
the English at Procida in April, and one of them later on 
was of material help to the Conte di Thurn in managing 
the surrender of the fortress at Baia, on which occasion 
safe-conducts were given to the garrison which were after- 
wards ruthlessly violated, the violation of the terms of the 
capitulation of the castles of Naples being coolly cited as 
a precedent by the State Junta. 

The Government knew well enough that sedition was 
rife in the city ; the conspirators themselves, though their 
organisation was kept secret, could never be quiet. They 
tried to burn the tree of liberty in the Piazza Nazionale ; 
they attacked and killed at different times upwards of 
a hundred French soldiers as they strayed from their 
quarters bent on nightly pleasure. Among the letters 
newly published, one tells how some of these daring 
royalists actually attacked a little fort guarded by the 
French at Capodimonte on the night of February I3th. 
In vain the Government issued threats and ordered the 
instant giving up of arms by the populace, on pain of 
death. Scarcely any arms were ever found. The Govern- 
ment, irritated and uneasy, like one blindfold in a rough 
game, made desperate plunges from time to time, and 
imprisoned, half at random, such of the conspirators 
as it could lay hands on. 

Meanwhile the republicanism of a great number who 
took part in the new order was only provisional and 
temporary, and tremblingly on the watch for any sign 
that the other side might be coming up again. On 
March 7th the Government made a public display of the 
burning of some royal banners in the Piazza Nazionale, 
and took that occasion to set free thirty-two insurgent 
prisoners who had fallen into their hands. Some trivial 
accident suddenly scattered the crowd in a panic, " and 
1 Rivista Novissima, p. 627. 


Triumphal Arch of Alfonso d'Aragona. 

[To face p. 156. 


I saw," relates Palermo, " a Captain of the National Guard 
take to his heels, tear off his epaulettes, and throw them 
into a drain in the Vico Conte di Mola." He adds that 
this captain was a priest. 1 

By the scheme, frustrated through the carelessness of 
Gerardo Baccher, the royalists, on the night of April 1st, 
were to have seized St. Elmo, broken open the prisons, 
and set free their imprisoned companions, and forthwith 
called upon the people to rise. The execution of the 
plot, for some reason, was put off to April 8th, and on 
the 5th, as we have seen, enough was discovered to 
frustrate its accomplishment It is evident from the 
diaries of the time that several attempts on St. Elmo 
had already been made by the lazzari. 

The conspirators were believed to have an understanding 
with the English and Sicilian ships, which were to make 
a feint of bombarding the city, and while all the effective 
soldiers rushed to man the defences, the conspirators in 
the city were to massacre all the republicans and burn 
their houses. The doomed palaces were marked with 
certain signs ; but as in many of them republicans and 
royalists were to be found side by side, it was found 
necessary to distribute secretly certain tokens to those 
who might be in danger and were to be spared. 

One of the four Baccher brothers, Gerardo, a young 
cavalry officer, was among the many admirers of Luisa 
Sanfelice, and lest harm should befall her in the coming 
massacre, he gave her one of these tokens, telling her 
something of the plot, and to show it in case of danger, 
when it would secure her safety. 

Following the light most lately thrown by Sansone 
upon this tragic story, which indeed makes it more tragic 
still, it seems that the poor thing, left alone after her 
lover's, or friend's, departure, could not bear the idea 
of the proposed horrible massacre. But she was in a 
terrible dilemma between two sacrifices : on the one hand, 
1 EM. PALERMO : Breve Cenno, MS. 


of the friend who had generously sought to ensure her 
safety ; on the other, of thousands of helpless people about 
to be handed over to wholesale massacre. Unable to 
acquiesce in the coming slaughter, she confided her secret 
and her terrors to Vincenzo Coco, who was, it now appears, 
what we might call her husband's solicitor, and, as we know, 
happened also to be a strong republican. Coco drew from 
her all she knew, and took down with his own hand the 
statement which revealed the danger to the Republic, 
but not the name of him whose tenderness for her was 
to be their common ruin. Perhaps the token gave some 
clue. Given the name of Luisa Sanfelice, one can fancy 
it was easy to discover who frequented the house, and 
for suspicion to fall on the right person. That night the 
Baccher, father and sons, and many others were arrested. 

It was a pitiful tragedy. No one could have been 
further from partaking, one way or another, in the bitter 
struggles of the time than this poor, pretty Luisa San- 
felice. Even her husband, a wretched, incapable creature, 
together with whom she went through all sorts of dis- 
creditable vicissitudes, since the two, it seems, were equally 
thriftless not even her husband had any connection with 
politics. Luisa was daughter of a distinguished Spanish 
officer in the Neapolitan service and of a Genoese lady. 
At seventeen she was married to her cousin, Andrea 
Sanfelice, who was scarcely more than eighteen. The 
young man, says Croce, 1 was " silly, fatuous, braggart, 
good for nothing, spendthrift ..." Being a younger 
son, he had, moreover, little to spend, which did not 
prevent him and his wife from rapidly squandering all 
they had, until they were deep in debt and misery. 
Within seven years of her marriage Luisa was reduced 
to beg, at one time, a few pence of an old friend of 
their family, that she and her children might not starve. 

1 BENEDETTO CROCE : Studii Storici sulla Rivoluzione 
Napoletana del 1799, HI, ui$a Sanfelice e la Congiura dei 
Baccher i p. 142, et seq. 


Their three children had to be taken from them and put 
into the charge of different convents. Andrea Sanfelice 
himself and his wife were banished, from the temptations 
of the city, to certain remote lands of his, and their affairs 
placed under superintendence with a view to paying 
their debts. They contrived, however, to live the same 
life, "loose and scandalous to excess," and were for a 
time shut up in separate convents, but with no beneficial 
result. The incorrigible pair escaped and ran away 
together back to Naples, and the loose thread of the 
new love-affairs of Luisa suddenly, on that soft April 
evening, was caught in the flying wheels of the fate of 
the republicans, and her destiny henceforth was woven 
inextricably with theirs. 

The little notice in the Monitore was the death-warrant 
of this poor creature, whose fate has probably excited 
more pity than that of any other victim of Ferdinand's 

Eleonora Pimentel, as was the fashion of the day, 
proceeds to " make diction " of the fortunate discovery. 
" San Girolamo," she writes, " in his Commentary on 
Hosea says : that a man who can desire to live under 
a king must be in a state of complete madness ; how 
many degrees beyond madness must be he who seeks 
to live under a king of the present day ? Meanwhile, the 
Roman Senate not only accorded liberty to the slave 
who revealed the conspiracy of the sons of Brutus, but 
immortalised his name by calling thenceforth the act 
of the manumission of slaves ' Vindicta,' from his name 
Vindicius. Our Republic must therefore not neglect 
to immortalise the deed and the name of this illustrious 
citoyenne ..." The Republic, alas ! had already secured 
the sad immortality of the name of Luisa Sanfelice. 

April passes into May ; things great and small appear 
in the pages of the Monitore ; discussions over the morality 
of public lotteries, strongly condemned by Eleonora 
Pimentel; announcements of the Mint, appointing days 


when citizens may bring copper and bell-metal to be 
coined ; accounts of the skirmishes between the English 
frigates and the "valiant youth of our National Guard," 
who were striving to establish a battery between Baia 
and Pozzuoli ; the cannonading is heard constantly ; news 
from the provinces is bad, and grows worse, but occasional 
successes are made the most of; it transpires here and 
there that the food supplies of the city are somewhat 
shortened ; news comes from Foggia that five convicts 
have been arrested, from whom information has been 
obtained that 6,400 convicts have been landed from 
Sicily at various points along the coast, to take their 
chance as to what harm they could do to the Republic. 

That there was any formidable method and concert 
in the many insurrectionary movements reported either 
was not evident to the heads of the Government, or, if 
so, was carefully hidden from the public. 

A notice at the end of April makes one smile : " A 
citizen of the department of the Sele writes to us that 
he has been made justice of the peace, and since he is 
desirous of serving his country well, and does not know 
his duties, he prays us to procure him the necessary 
instructions from the Government But as we do not 
know whether any have yet been published, we invite the 
Government to publish them with the utmost despatch." 

An ominous symptom is veiled in the next paragraph. 
The French are retiring to an encampment near Caserta, 
and malicious persons have begun to spread an alarm and 
reports "injurious to French loyalty and magnanimity." 
In other words, it looked very much as though the French 
were preparing to withdraw altogether. The executive 
council issues a proclamation to the Neapolitan people, 
answering for French loyalty, and ending with these 
reassuring words : " The Republic is established, and to 
her enemies nothing remains but jealousy, desperation, 
and death." 

A letter is also published from General Macdonald 


(already preparing to slip away northwards and leave the 
Neapolitan Republic to make the best of the situation), 
of course protesting that the Republic may safely repose 
in him, and that he will be ready at the first signal of 
cannon from St. Elmo to appear like the lightning which 
is followed by the thunder, etc., etc. Meanwhile, let all 
do their duty! 

So the French withdrew to Caserta on May 2nd : the 
city, it was said, offered too many temptations to the 
soldiers. Macdonald, however, returned to dine with 
the members of the Government on the 4th, in order to 
be present at the yearly time-honoured procession and 
miracle of the Phials of S. Gennaro, whose sanction was 
held by the patriots and by the French generals alike 
absolutely necessary to seal their passport to popular 
confidence. The miracle consists in the " liquefaction of 
the blood of S. Gennaro," contained in the sacred phials. 
There was great fear that the priests, in the interest of 
the Bourbon, would contrive that the miracle should not 
take place. 

Macdonald with his staff, accompanied by General 
Thie'bault and other officers, all in gala uniform, went first 
to the palace of the archbishop, Cardinal Zurlo. (One 
can fancy Macdonald making occasion to whisper a word 
to the cardinal !) Thence they proceeded to the Church 
of the Trinita Maggiore to await the arrival of the 
populace. Macdonald said afterwards that he had placed 
two companies of grenadiers in the church, so critical 
was the moment felt to be. The crowd was then, as it is 
to this day, enormous and excited. The miracle delayed ; 
the crowd took on a threatening appearance ; the French 
felt there was not a moment to be lost. One of the 
representatives of the Republic who stood with the French 
officers near the altar-rail turned with a stern pale face 
to General Thiebault, who was between him and the 
cardinal, motioning to him to give place ; he stepped 
up to the old archbishop, presented one of the pistols 



hidden in his belt, and cried in his ear in a stifled 
voice, "If the miracle delay another moment, you are 
a dead man." The cardinal handed the phial to his 
vicar, and the miracle took place immediately. 1 

This was not the first time that the saint had seen fit to 
yield to military pressure, and when the Bourbon came 
back, poor S. Gennaro was somewhat in disgrace, and 
was for the time thrown into the shade by Sant' Antonio, 
who had been more propitious to the royal cause. 

Eleonora Pimentel devotes a long article to an en- 
thusiastic description of the scene, considering it as the 
decisive moment between the populace and the Republic, 
and especially regretting that the Government had not 
been formally represented. 

" Not all the advantage has been taken of that moment 
that might have been taken," she writes a few days later ; 
"the next day (especially as it was a Sunday) all the 
pulpits ought to have resounded with the miracle, and with 
the evident decision of Heaven in favour of the Republic. 
With this should have been connected the other two facts, 
most significant in the popular imagination, that in the 
beginning of the winter, so far always wet, the only 
beautiful days were those from the armistice of Capua to 
the peaceful entry of Championnet ; that it always poured 
and was in every way contrary to the expedition of 

1 B. CROCE : Studii Storici, etc., p. 89, et seg. 

This account, given by Thiebault himself in his memoirs, has 
about it something of that garnish of theatrical propriety not 
always compatible with historic accuracy, but too often found in 
French historical works by the baffled seeker after truth. 

It is true that Zurlo, very old, was a timid man, on whom an 
empty threat might easily have been used with success. But not 
the most outrageous republican of that day could seriously have 
entertained the possibility of shooting a cardinal-archbishop on 
the altar steps ; let alone the motive, the place, and the occasion 
on which the threat is said to have been used. 

A scene almost identical had already been described by Duclos 
(Voyage en Italie, 1791) as having taken place in the days of 
Filippo V. 


Ferdinand against Rome, and was favorable to the French 
during their march upon Naples. That Vesuvius, quiet 
ever since 1794, sent up a placid flame, as of rejoicing, 
on the evening of the illumination for the proclamation 
of the Republic." 

In the same number, dated May Qth, it is evident that 
the republicans are at last awake to the necessity of 
fighting for their own lives. Three hundred waggons 
have been requisitioned by the French for transport, and 
a hundred cows carried off by these same preservers and 
benefactors, who are now on the march for the Cisalpine 
Republic, leaving only a few thousand men behind in the 
garrisons of St. Elmo, Capua, and Gaeta. The republicans 
hasten to increase their defences ; a little fort is constructed 
at Sorrento, another at Salerno. " The state of our coast 
becomes daily more respectable," writes Eleonora. The 
citizens, men and women, responding to a demand for 
help, have flocked to the Mole, volunteering for the 
construction of an earthwork there. A " patriotic legion " 
is formed of six hundred young Calabrese to garrison 
Castel Nuovo, left empty by the French. 

All the patriotic societies and clubs have become one, 
and have held a meeting to consider the urgent need 
of the country. The immediate conscription of all the 
patriots is resolved on. The fighting is no more a thing 
in far-off provinces it is by no means longer to be 
ignored ; it is at the doors. 

The Monitore, always anxiously holding up the mirror 
to republican virtue, publishes the letter of Gabriele 
Manthone, now Minister of War, written to the father 
of a young officer of artillery killed by the insurgents 
at Castellamare a few days before. The general speaks 
of the grief of the patriots at such a loss, but tries to 
raise the spirit of the father to heroic satisfaction in 
such a son : " What more," he says, " can be desired by 
mortal man, destined to a momentary and fleeting 
existence, than to die at his post, and as the strong die ? " 


Manthone, too, ere long, was to die, not, alas! at his 
post, but emphatically as the strong die da forte. 

The city, meanwhile, is fairly quiet, but it is evident 
that there is an infinity of secret disaffection and resistance. 
A citizen reports that in certain popular quarters, whither 
he went for the purpose of reading to the people the new 
laws " abolishing the tax on flour and the feudal system," 
he found the populace as absolutely ignorant of the 
proclamations, orders, and actions of the Government as 
though they had been thousands of miles away. And 
while all the beneficent notices had been suppressed, those 
relating to the imposition of taxes were evident at every 
corner. This, of course, was not accidental. Many a 
citizen, anxious to save his soul, will have shortened his 
sufferings in purgatory by these simple acts of " loyalty 
to the king and the holy faith." 

And so we come to May I4th. Within a month all was 
over. The insurrection is everywhere gathering force, the 
tide of disaster creeping ever on ; yet Eleonora Pimentel 
finds it in her strong heart to write thus : " The first sign 
of inward virtue. ... is that the courage and activity of 
individuals grow in proportion to the difficulty of the 
circumstances. A man thus accustoms himself to make 
use of all his faculties, and with those means which he 
himself has procured, renders himself superior to circum- 
stance and rules events. We are beginning to shew these 
signs. Left destitute of all means by past circumstances, 
we begin to create them. The ardour and activity of the 
patriots increase every day, and every day diminishes in 
our lower populace the former distrust of the new order. 
The scattered insurrections, though they afflict us, give a 
motive to good men to concentrate their action, and give 
scope for the vigilance of all over the public necessity. 
The present position of Italy is not a disadvantage. 
Italy will remain a soldier nation, girt with her own 
and not another sword. The great truth will be under- 
stood that a people can never be well defended save 


by itself ... for liberty cannot be loved by halves, and 
works no miracles for peoples who are not completely 

In the last number but one, for June 5th, there is at 
length something of the calmness of despair in the 
announcement. ..." Here are the facts. The hope of 
Matera's division is dispersed and vanished away ; the 
division of Spano retreated with damage ; the expedition 
of Belpulsi has ended in disaster. Exhausted in unequal 
combat, victims of the assassinations of the rebels, the 
flower of the young men of the Republic have perished," 
and she proceeds to give an account of the latest 
disaster, almost at the gates. 

And still with the instinct of the brave woman who 
is determined to work till the very last for the cause 
she loves, she tries to produce an impression that after 
all things are not at such a desperate pass. " Notwith- 
standing these disagreeable tidings," runs the little notice, 
" on Sunday evening they did not fail to sing La Vittoria 
del Francesi, in the National Theatre ; and at the Fondo 
Theatre there was a ball, the entrance being reduced to 
three carlini, instead of five, to make it more convenient 
to the public to be present." 

In this same number many arrests are reported, 
especially of men of high rank. The bewilderment and 
stress of the situation bring military and martial counsels 
to the front. Liberty and equality have had their brief, 
ineffectual day, and will now lead their lovers to the 
scaffold and the gallows, great hearts unconquered by 
fate, borne up still by their faith in the justice and the 
light that must sooner or later prevail over injustice and 


Cardinal Ruffo ; his antecedents at Rome Initiates the Santa 
Fede Description of the fortress of Messina by its 
commandant The Santa Fede on the march Monteleone 
Convicts let loose Cantanzaro Cotrone Robbery and 
massacre Executions Royal complaints of Ruffo' s leniency 
Helplessness of the Republic Corbara and Mesdames de 

BUT the Monitore has carried us too far, and has 
given us too scanty an idea of the beginning 
and progress of the counter-revolution. The central 
figure of this movement is Fabrizio Ruffo, of the rich 
and princely, but somewhat ill-famed, Calabrese family 
of RufTo-Scilla. There is an Italian proverb, quoted 
by Dumas, 1 which says in allusion to the geographical 
distribution of the oldest aristocracy : " The Apostles 
at Venice, the Bourbon in France, the Colonna at Rome, 
the Sanseverino at Naples, and the Ruffo in Calabria." 
On his mother's side, moreover, Ruffo was Colonna. 
He had been treasurer to Pius VI., and was now a 
cardinal-deacon no longer quite in favour with the 
pope and seeking to make himself useful to the King 
of Naples. Ferdinand had already employed him as 
superintendent of his pet socialist Utopian colony at 
S. Leucio, near Caserta. 

Some fifteen years or so before these events, Ruffo 
had been a brilliant star in the highest and most profli- 
gate Roman society, cavalier servente of that Marchesa 
Girolama Lepri whom Geminiani, the famous Roman 
1 DUMAS : I Borboni di Napoli, Vol. I., p. 355. 


satirist, called la mercantessa olandese^ in allusion to the 
avarice she displayed in bringing her wares to market. 1 
Ruffo had his great receptions, like the other nobles 
and notables, and welcomed, together with them, artists, 
musicians, poets, and other men of letters. In these 
reunions there was a strange contrast and mingling of 
ceremony and licence, wit and folly. Romping games, 
such as blindman's-buff, hide-and-seek, tarantelle and other 
rough dances, were much in vogue among the ladies and 
their cavalieri serventi. The husbands on these occasions 
seem to have had nothing to do but gorge and get tipsy. 
Gambling, of course, was rife. In this profoundly corrupt 
society, luxurious, witty, infidel, licentious, Ruffo had 
found a congenial element, when, it is said, the pope 
was led to suspect him of misappropriation of the funds 
that passed through his hands, and made him a cardinal 
in order gracefully to get rid of him. 

In his capacity of treasurer-general, however, Ruffo had 
shown himself extremely active in various agricultural 
and civil reforms, especially of abuses fostered by the 
aristocracy, his zeal carrying him so far that he was 
often obliged to retreat before difficulties. Pasquino and 
Marforio, those marble mouthpieces for the Roman squibs, 
had represented a figure of him with ordine in one hand, 
contr'ordine in the other, and disordine on his forehead. 2 
During his lifetime he was described in a French bio- 
graphical dictionary as "a man of wit, instruction, and 
very varied information. He has written," says the bio- 
graphy, " on cavalry manoeuvres, on fountains, on canals, 
and on the habits of different sorts of pigeons. He has 
the defect of being a man of projects ... is deservedly 
reputed the most able economist in Italy . . . " 3 Such 

1 DAVID SILVAGNI : La Corte e la Societa Romana nei Secoli 
XVIII. e XIX., Vol. I., p. 404, et seq. 

3 HELFERT : Fabrizio Ruffo, p. 101. 

3 Duval, in his notes to Orloff's Memoirs, quotes these and 
other details from a French Biographic des hommes vivants. 


a man must naturally have made many enemies among 
those who had the ear of the pope, and the report, re- 
peated by Colletta, that his dishonesty had been the cause 
of his banishment from Rome, may very likely have 
had its origin in mere slander. But though the details 
of his actions are lost now, and history is uncertain as 
to his exact conduct on many important occasions, yet 
we know the man. He stands pretty clearly before us 
in his own letters, and we know both what to expect 
and what not to expect of the famous cardinal. Among 
all the crowded ship-loads of aristocratic families that 
shared or followed the king's flight from Naples and 
remained with the Court at Palermo, the only individual 
who separated from the idling, gambling crowd and 
showed himself a man was Ruffo, and it is impossible 
not to respect him for it. That he, brought up in Rome 
from early childhood, was moved by any special loyalty 
to, or admiration for, the Bourbons is not likely. But 
he knew his country and his countrymen far better than 
they did. He thought the abject royal fright needlessly 
exaggerated ; his active and enterprising mind soon 
formed a plan of action combining small risk with every 
chance of success success which would ensure his own 
permanent fortune, and in the spirit of the speculator 
he laid his project before the king. 

Neither Sacchinelli, 1 his priest-secretary, nor Helfert, 
the champion of Maria Carolina, his chief apologists and 
admirers, can show us anything lofty, noble, or heroic 
in Ruffo. In his own letters he appears a man of no 
great culture, unscrupulous in the means he employed 
for the ends he set before himself, cynically indifferent 
to niceties of morality and even to the lives of his fellow 
men where he saw any advantage in sacrificing them ; 
but thoroughly averse to useless bloodshed, not so much 
from humanity, as because he understood, as the Bourbon 

1 DOMENICO SACCHINELLI : Memorie Storiche sulla Vita del 
Car dinale Fabrizio Ruffo. Napoli, 1836, 


never did, the harm it wrought to the royal cause. With 
a certain timorous regard for his own personal safety, 
he was never so blinded by fear as not to be able to 
look his danger in the face and measure it, and adopt 
the most practical course for avoiding or meeting it that 
his cool common sense and ready craft might suggest. 
His common sense was strong, and this alone prevents 
his views from being altogether narrow or entirely personal. 
His tendency was to improve whatever came under his 
management ; and he was statesman enough to see the 
folly and futility, even the danger, of the short-sighted 
policy of the king and queen, of Acton, Hamilton, Nelson, 
and all the other foreigners, not one of whom understood 
the real safety of the dynasty, much less ever dreamed 
of taking the welfare of the country into account. The 
petty personal rancours and revenges that actuated most 
of these do not seem ever to have swayed Ruffo ; at 
the same time his personal ambition mastered his better 
tendencies and capacities, and when the moment of 
supreme trial came his most solemn convictions were 
sacrificed to maintain the favour of his sovereign and 
ensure the expected rewards. That the idea of these 
rewards was what lay always before him during his 
enterprise is betrayed by a passage in one of his letters, 
written in May, 1799, to Antonio Micheroux, Ferdinand's 
plenipotentiary with the commander of the Russian troops 
blockading Corfu. 

Micheroux, of somewhat finer clay, and, while dis- 
interested in his loyalty to his king, showing himself 
uniformly humane and generous towards the other side, 
whom he never forgot to be his fellow countrymen, had 
expressed some fastidious disapproval of the sort of men 
the cardinal employed in chief and responsible positions. 
The cardinal gives his reasons for making use of the 
man in question ; but, feeling that they may possibly not 
satisfy Micheroux, he adds : " However that may be, if 
you care for the advantage of the king and of the good 


cause, note my letter of yesterday, follow the line I have 
begged you to take and act for the good of the state ; 
our sovereigns will know how to recompense your labours 
in a thousand ways, whatever our own views may be, 
when the happy event crowns our efforts, and on a 
thousand occasions they have given us proof of their 
beneficence and gratitude." l Ruffo thinks to brush away 
the odd scruples of Micheroux by reminding him of the 
coming recompense when once their object is attained. 

Only four days after the proclamation of the Republic 
at Naples, on January 27th, Cardinal Ruffo set out from 
Palermo to promote and lead the counter-revolution that 
was to restore Naples to the king. The sovereigns 
encouraged the expedition, not, it is true, with money 
or arms, but with ample promises and with the grant 
of unlimited powers, at first rather as a means of 
protection for Sicily than in any real hope of regaining 
Naples. The queen dreaded a revolution in Messina and 
other parts of the island, and lived in terror at Palermo. 
Writing to her daughter the Empress, she more than 
once alludes to their being two whole miles from the 
sea, and their way (of escape) lying through the Cassero, 
a street more populous than Toledo at Naples, and to 
their being so many in family, and the people so ferocious 
and sanguinary. She expects, she declares, but this was 
perhaps with a view to softening the heart of the Emperor, 
that before they shall have been four months at Palermo 
there will be a revolution, and they will all be massacred. 2 
The queen, therefore, welcomed the new project, which, 
even if it came to no more, would at least raise Calabria 
for the royal cause, and so put a bulwark between Sicily 
and the French. 

Ruffo landed at the Punta del Pezzo on February 8th, 

1 B. MARESCA: // Cavalier e Antonio Micheroux nella Reazione 
Napoletana delV anno 1799, in Arfch. Stor. Nap. Anno XIX., 
Fasc. L, 1894. 

* HELFERT : Fabrizio Ruffo^ etc., p. 545, etc, 


[To face p. 170. 


provided with full powers and authority from the king 
to act as his vicar and alter ego, his mission being to 
raise the provinces for the king. These full powers 
authorised Ruffo to make use of every means he should 
see fit for " rousing the inhabitants to a just defence . . . 
by working on the popular attachment to the Church, on 
the desire of families to save property, life and honour, 
by giving rewards . . ." such means to be employed 
" without limit, as also the severest punishments. . . . 
This character of Commissioner or Vicar General to be 
assumed at your discretion, how and when you shall 
think suitable to the object in view ; for with the faculties 
and the alter ego which I concede to you in the largest 
sense, I intend that you enforce and cause to be respected 
my sovereign authority, and with it preserve my kingdom 
from further harm. . . ." 1 

Ruffo soon found that with these large phrases he 
must be content for the present ; for few, if any, of the 
promises of men and arms and money were kept, until 
it was seen that the expedition was likely in truth to 
succeed. It seems probable that Acton, true to his 
principle of pruning down or eliminating all growths that 
threatened to overtop his own, " machinated " against 
Ruffo as soon as his back was turned, and blew cold 
upon the cardinal's matters, while the suspicious queen 
was ready to withhold effective support until she saw 
how fared " the madman," as she called him at the outset. 
In her letters to Ruffo she lays all the blame on the 
people about her, complaining of the " eternity " it takes 
to get anything done, and of the absence of means and 

Among the documents published by Professor Sansone 2 
is a report, dated February 5th (that is just about the 
time that Ruffo was leaving Sicily for the mainland), 
written by General Danero, Commandant of Messina, 

1 SACCHINELLI : Memorie, etc., p. 82, et seq. 
* SANSONE : Avvenimenti, etc., p. 18, 


upon the condition of that city and fortress, which may 
be taken as a description, differing only in details, but 
faithful in the main, of all the other royal strongholds 
in the kingdom. 

" I see the mass of this wretched populace," writes the 
general, "always greedy for news, always intent on 
knowing the details of everything that happens in Naples 
and in the provinces. The proximity of Calabria to 
Messina certainly is no advantage to the latter. Men 
insensibly grow familiar with evil ways, and the populace 
of Messina is plunged in want. Trade is at a standstill, 
every craft grows slack, and it is a problem to be resolved 
whether or not it be to our advantage to make soldiers 
of this populace. I see the garrison feeble, composed 
chiefly of deserters, criminals and vagabonds, pardoned 
on condition of military service ; of men sent under 
punishment from Portici and Resina ; of Calabrese re- 
cruited by forced levy, disgusted men without any love 
for the service, who meanwhile have left behind in their 
villages their little property, one his wife, another his 
children, another his kinsfolk. These are men in whom, 
at a pinch, not the slightest confidence can be placed. . . . 
Among the troops here there are also a number of 
convicts from this province, persons undoubtedly of the 
same sort, already destitute of clothing. I have been 
obliged to dress them in albagio (a very coarse kind of 
unbleached woollen stuff), giving it a military cut. In 
the Citadel there are upwards of 500 convicts, chiefly 
Calabrese ; men who are never quiet, and for whose safe 
custody we have not sufficient force. In the Citadel there 
are also a multitude of State prisoners from Reggio, and 
also not a few recruits of the forced levy who have 
arrived recently from Reggio, without clothing, who pass 
the days seated in corners bewailing their misfortunes. 
I would wish to purge the Citadel of such people, and 
oh ! what a help it would be, in my opinion, to let out 
the above-mentioned State prisoners from Reggio, all 


respectable persons, among whom there are parish priests, 
canons, priests and cavaliers, setting them free if innocent, 
and pardoning them if guilty, that they may be gone to 
defend their own homes, religion and the Throne. . . . 
I am in a state of perpetual watchfulness, and in the 
greatest consternation, and oh ! how I would that in this 
land, instead of Cardinals, Bishops and Abbots, there 
were as many Generals, and military officers of integrity 
and experience who might share with me the burden 
of affairs. . . ." 

From which graphic and melancholy report it appears 
that in the candid opinion of this most royalist governor, 
the only decent persons in the fortress were the State 
prisoners. His common sense told him what the Govern- 
ment only discovered a year and a half later namely, 
that all these worthy persons were innocent of treason. 

The allusion to the cardinal, made plural and associated 
with bishops and abbots by way of a thin disguise, is 
amusing. Poor Danero, governing painfully and in " con- 
sternation " his rabble of convicts, had just been ordered 
to supply Ruffo with arms, ammunition, and cannon. No 
doubt he would sooner have parted with some of his 
wretched troops and kept his cannon. In March, Danero 
was superseded by the English General Stuart from 
Minorca. It was probably the humane common sense 
of the old general that made him at this time, as their 
letters betray, an object of suspicion to the Court on 
one side and Ruffo on the other. 1 

1 But the most obvious pretences were enough to sow suspicion 
in the queen's mind : it was about this time that she received, 
through the Neapolitan envoy at Vienna, an intercepted letter, 
purporting to be republican, out of which she quotes, to Ruffo, 
the following alarming sentences : " We are hastening to organise 
25,000 men to go to Sicily, Messina and Catania. The first will 
soon be ours, as we are thoroughly sure of the republican way 
of thinking of our friend Danero." This letter, she tells Ruffo, 
has decided her to remove Danero from his command: "and 
I am still shuddering to think I did not remove him before^ 


Behind the queen and Acton and their letters, one 
divines that mass of idle and useless people huddled 
about the Court, with no faculty but that of letting 
public money stick to their fingers while public work 
went undone. 

Ruffo, however, was philosopher enough to expect no 
more from men in general than they were likely to give, 
and set to work notwithstanding. He had, in fact, in 
his hands already a power immeasurably greater than 
any the king's commission could confer a power reaching 
back unbroken through centuries upon centuries, the one 
only thoroughly organised system of rule, rooted in the 
custom and the ignorance of the people, ready-made for 
the occasion and the man. When Ruffo told the king 
" he would pass through the provinces of the kingdom 
with no other thing in his company but the Crucifix," 
he knew it would be enough. His work, moreover, was 
well begun. For years, as we have seen, priests and 
monks had been impressing one lesson on the dark souls 
it was their part to have illumined : the French were 
enemies of God, of the Church, of religion, of kings. 
Under the same ban came Jacobins, a name for all that 
was horrible and accursed in man ; "patriots" and Jacobins 
differed only in degree, and were all to be regarded as 
outlaws, the campaign against them as having the 
virtues of a crusade. 

In appealing to the popular attachment to the Church, 
Ruffo knew well what springs to touch, and that none 
could touch them better than he, robed as he was in 
the purple of the Church's princes. At that time, 
Sacchinelli tells us, there was no peasant in all Calabria 
so poor but he had on one side of his bed the crucifix 

but I thought him foolish but good." A rch. Stor. Nap., V. 2, 
p. 345. The letter was evidently concocted by some enemy of the 
harmless old general, and offers a specimen of the way in which 
"republicans" and "jacobins" were manufactured for royal 
consumption, and to feed private grudges or interests. 


and on the other his gun. In these two lay all his 

The feudal lands of the Ruffo family lay about Bagnara 
and Scilla, and furnished the cardinal with the first 
contingent of three hundred armed men. From Bagnara 
Ruffo issued an encyclical letter to all the bishops, 
abbots, and other clergy, and the magistrates and influ- 
ential citizens within an immense radius, exhorting them 
immediately to preach the crusade, and appointing them 
to meet him at Mileto, bringing with them as many 
men as they could arm. The pay of the soldiers 
was fixed at twenty-five grant a day (about a franc) ; 
corporals were to receive thirty-five, and sergeants fifty. 
Besides these "regular troops," Ruffo obliged every 
able-bodied man to follow the army within the limits 
of his own province, under pain of condemnation as 
a republican. In this way hordes of men swarmed 
after him, their numbers increasing daily. Besides the 
ordinary inhabitants of the towns and villages, there were 
in many places fragments of the royal army, reduced by 
want and generally half naked ; these readily joined the 
cardinal, together with brigand bands from the open country 
and numbers of convicts and others escaped from the 
prisons in recent tumults. For a badge these motley 
soldiers wore on the right side of the hat a white cross 
and the red cockade of the Bourbon. Besides their regular 
pay, the cardinal promised his followers eternal rewards 
in heaven, exemption from several taxes, particularly the 
contribution for the construction of the highroads, and 
their share in the spoil of the rebel cities. The army 
took the name of Armata cristiana delta Santa Fede i.e. 
Christian army of the Holy Faith ; and Ruffo, among 
other objects, gave out that they were marching to 
rescue the pope from his enemies and restore him to 
the holy see. 

" In that great mass of men," writes Sacchinelli, " there 
were ecclesiastics of every degree ; there were rich 


proprietors, artisans, and field labourers ; there were up- 
right men moved by religious fervour and by attachment 
to the king and to good order ; and unfortunately there 
were assassins and thieves, urged by the thirst of rapine, 
of vengeance and of blood." 1 The numbers of these 
masses are given by the different royalist writers, 
Sacchinelli, Petromasi, etc., in figures that disagree by 
tens of thousands with each other and with the con- 
temporary letters of Ruffo himself, probably the only 
fairly safe guide. From these it appears that Ruffo, 
landing in Calabria on February 7th, with only eight 
companions, soon gathered eighty, armigeri and outlaws* 
in whom he had but little faith. Before the middle of the 
month he had three hundred and fifty, a few of whom 
were regular soldiers under Lieutenant Natale Perez ; 
with these Ruffo began his march. At Gioia he was rein- 
forced by a mass of fifteen hundred men priests, monks, 
vagabonds, outlaws, brigands, and so forth, among whom 
it must be supposed there were always a few genuine 
royalists, whose motive was not mere plunder or adventure. 
From Rosarno, on February 23rd, Ruffo writes to Acton 
and the king of other seven thousand men, and is joined 
at Mileto before long by nine thousand volunteers, and 
by a small but most precious contingent of four hundred 
regular soldiers under Lieutenant-Colonel Antonio de 
Settis. The numbers of the masses fluctuated according 
to the work in hand and the nature of their enlistment. 
But in any case Ruffo's own figures, added together, and 
even assuming all these different bodies to have marched 
together by the end of February, do not come to more 
than seventeen thousand men in all, while Sacchinelli 
boldly puts them at forty thousand men. 2 He says they 
were all provided with food for several days by the 
generosity of the rich, and especially of the monasteries. 
" The great embarrassment in that critical circumstance,' 

1 SACCHINELLI: Memorie, etc., p. 95. 

J SANSONE: Awenimenti, etc. t p. Hi., et seq. 


he says, " was how, without means, to provide the necessary 
subsistence, how to organise and guide such numbers of 
people unamenable to discipline ; and how to manage 
their accommodation in that severe winter weather in 
a province where, by reason of the earthquakes of 1783, 
habitations were very few." 

The cardinal, however, soon bethought him of an ex- 
cellent way out of the difficulty. " Considering that the 
rules of warfare prohibit the passage of any assistance, 
of whatsoever nature, into the enemy's country," he 
ordered the immediate sequestration of the rents of all 
proprietors living in places occupied by the French. To 
set a good example and show his impartiality, he began 
by seizing the rents of his brother, the Duke of Bagnara, 
who was absent in Naples. 

Then, as now, all the great landowners of South Italy 
lived in Naples, and perhaps it would be salutary 
for the provinces whence they draw their wealth if some 
power short of the army of the Santa Fede could oblige 
them to live on their lands. 

These sequestrations, which took also the form of 
selling oil and other produce of the land, became " a 
perennial fountain " of income for the army. 

The Calabrese refused to take regular military service, 
and Ruffo made a separate corps of all the disbanded 
regular soldiers he could gather, taking for officers those 
of the provincial militia and non-commissioned officers, 
few others having returned to the provinces. His policy 
was to keep his men always moving, so as to accustom 
those untrained masses at least to march in column, and 
in time to act in concert and respond to orders. Sacchinelli 
relates how from Radicena, seeing some merchant vessels 
at anchor at Gioia, lading oil, Ruffo, to try the mettle 
of his troops, gave out that the French had landed at 
Gioia. The whole mass immediately precipitated them- 
selves upon the town, and were only disappointed to find 
no French there. They found, however, plenty of good 



wine, and all got drunk. " The cardinal perceived that 
those men were animated with an excellent spirit and 
full of valour, but that they had positive need of discipline 
and instruction." Writing even thirty-six years after- 
wards, Sacchinelli sees no need to apologise for thus 
taking a harmless town in one's own country, moreover 
for the scene of such an experiment. 

Diversions of the kind were not infrequent, for the 
troops had to be kept in good humour. Indeed, they 
stood in need of some encouragement in that cold weather, 
marching often under pouring rain in their scanty cloth- 
ing " along a road all mud and chalk," from Mileto to 

As the cardinal approached, spreading terror before 
him, the lately appointed republican municipalities in the 
little towns fell to pieces ; such republicans as escaped 
the fury of the popular reaction fled to Catanzaro, the 
capital of the province, and the " good populations royalised 
themselves of their own accord," with more or less of 
violence and bloodshed. 

At Monteleone, where he arrived on March 1st, the 
" Cardinal Monster," as Eleonora Pimentel calls him, 
showed his best side, and earned the gratitude of the 
town by protecting the local silk industry against the 
royal agents. The industry had been reduced so low by 
the extortions of these agents and by heavy duties that 
the people had begun to destroy their mulberry-trees. 
Ruffo abolished all the regulations and made the industry 
absolutely free, thus winning Monteleone to his cause. 

Nor was this all. The queen had written to him on 
the 26th, authorising him to make use, as his discretion 
should direct, of proclamations, pardons, remission of 
customs, taxes, etc. ; and Ruffo, both now and later, pro- 
claimed a general amnesty to all who, " having perceived 
their errors," should return to the party of the king. The 
pardons aimed especially at winning back the scattered 
soldiers of the regular army. Monteleone became his 


headquarters for Calabria, and here, at his ease, he was 
able to organise to some extent not only the visible forces 
about him, but to communicate the contra-revolutionary 
movement far and wide from parish to parish, where 
he had, as it were, his own officers and men every- 
where ready to his hand and eager to act under his 

The Republic instead, as we have seen, had but the 
scantiest forces, hesitated to appreciate the danger, 
hesitated to move, and was hampered rather than 
supported by the French. The movement initiated 
and energetically pushed on by Ruffo had thus gained 
in every way in strength, in extent, in foreign help, in 
self-confidence ; while the Republic daily betrayed more 
and more its incapacity to meet the situation, and left 
its adherents without any valid hope of coming help. 

The Court lent a characteristic helping hand, as March 
verged into April, by landing on the Calabrian coast some 
thousands of convicts. Sacchinelli pretends that this was 
the doing of the English, who, seeing the penal prisons 
of Sicily overflowing with malefactors, conceived the 
doubly happy idea of relieving the Government of their 
maintenance and letting them loose to hunt Jacobins and 
make themselves useful in Calabria under the cardinal's 
orders and responsibility. But though English ships were 
the instruments, the idea is quite of a piece with the 
Bourbon policy. A great many of these convicts were 
Calabrese, and had old private grudges to settle ; and 
the majority were robbers and murderers, who, by showing 
zeal in the good cause, were to earn pardon and substantial 
rewards. They immediately began marauding over the 
country, killing local authorities and sacking as they 
went, so that Ruffe's irregulars were at times on the 
point of abandoning the defence of the Faith for that 
of their own homes and families. 

The cardinal had quite enough of such dangerous 
material on his hands already, and shipped them on to 


his able lieutenant the Bishop of Policastro, who did for 
the Cilento what Ruffo did for Calabria. A thousand of 
these convicts were enlisted under the leadership of a 
famous assassin called Panedigrano ; and Ruffo eventually 
applied to Captain Troubridge to land at Policastro "a 
good English officer with artillery and gunners," to drill 
this choice regiment. 

The whole of Calabria, except Catanzaro and Cotrone, 
followed the example of Monteleone and went back to 
the king. Catanzaro, a walled city in an almost im- 
pregnable position, with a population of more than twelve 
thousand inhabitants, was reinforced by the fugitive 
patriots from all the surrounding country. The patriots 
took but little account of Ruffo's approach. Looking 
with contempt upon his unruly swarms of half-armed 
peasants, they seem to have taken no serious precautions 
for the sure custody of the gates. Thus it came to pass 
that when Ruffo sent forward a part of his horde to 
blockade the city while he lingered at Pizzo and at Maida 
upon business, the gates were opened from within by a 
handful of those destitute royal men-at-arms whose natural 
rancour was, as we have seen, a perpetual and disregarded 
danger to the Republic. Part of the outer horde swarmed 
into the city, and now began that tradition of licensed 
assassination, robbery, and burning that belonged hence- 
forth to the army of the Santa Fede. Many, " supposed 
to be republicans," were killed, many were imprisoned, 
many fled ; many houses were burned and many sacked. 

From the correspondence of Ruffo and Acton it is 
evident that this town had long been considered a centre 
of disaffection, and had already in former times given 
trouble to the royal Government. It was therefore with 
great satisfaction that Ruffo wrote on March 8th to 
Acton that many of the worst characters i.e. the 
most liberal had been massacred there. 

A deputation was hastily formed, and went to meet 
the cardinal, "representing that although the republicans 


of Catanzaro were all either killed, fled, or arrested, 
nevertheless the desolate city remained a prey to the 
most horrible anarchy, with massacres, sacking and private 
revenges," and prayed him speedily to come and put an 
end to the distress of the town. Even now RufFo did 
not press forward to make use of his personal authority 
and disclaim the action of his followers ; on the contrary, 
Sacchinelli tells us how he lingered to inspect some notable 
ruins not far out of his way, not unwilling evidently that 
the terrible lesson should be thoroughly learned by the 
restive city. 

The same method was pursued with Cotrone, the next 

place to be attacked. While Ruffo remained with such 

force as he could bring under shelter in the beautiful villas 

of the delicious marina of Catanzaro, levying a fine of forty 

thousand ducats, fifty saddled horses, and two hundred 

pairs of shoes upon the disobedient city, and arranging 

other matters, he sent forward two thousand of the best 

of his troops to blockade Cotrone, which was fortified and 

its republican garrison reinforced by some thirty or more 

French soldiers and non-commissioned artillery officers, 

who had been driven to take refuge there on their way 

from Egypt. The cardinal's troops were joined on their 

march from far and near by hundreds of rough men, 

scenting the prey, and armed with hatchets or stout sticks, 

the mass increasing in volume as they went "like the 

waters of a torrent in flood," until they surrounded the 

city like a great swarm of ants. They drew near and laid 

their ambush under cover of a rainy night, and began their 

cannonade in the morning. The besieged, deceived as to 

their numbers, made a smart sortie, but were overpowered 

in a moment, and, being overtaken in their retreat, were 

unable to raise the drawbridge in time, and the besiegers 

pressed into the city. The patriots took refuge in the 

citadel, but here they were betrayed by the former soldiery 

of the king, who let down the bridge and took part 

against them, making them prisoners in the citadel itself. 


Two days passed before the arrival of the cardinal, on 
Easter Eve, March 25th, during which time the unhappy 
city was completely sacked, even Sacchinelli admitting 
that only one house escaped the general pillage. 

Petromasi's account, 1 written within two years of these 
events, in which he took part, differs considerably from that 
of Sacchinelli, who wrote his version thirty-six years later, 
and had had time to hear, in part, the judgment of a genera- 
tion, and to arrange his facts accordingly. 2 Petromasi makes 
the people of Cotrone open their gates spontaneously to the 
royal troops who headed the cardinal's detachment, on 
condition that the lives and property of the citizens should 
be respected and political opinions ignored. As for the 
citadel, Petromasi records a distinct capitulation. The sack 
which followed he lays to the rapacity of the Calabrese 
and the impossibility of holding them in check in the 
cardinal's absence. Over the ignoring of the capitulation 
and all terms of surrender he passes in silence. Under the 
circumstances, Petromasi is the rather to be believed, since 
he further records the fact that the cardinal, having " with 
religious, edifying pomp, robed in purple, amid the tears 
of emotion and the glad applause of the devout people, 
with his own hands planted the Cross where the super- 
stitious tree of chimerical liberty had stood," proceeded 
on April 3rd to make a further terrible example. Two 
gentlemen, one of whom was the richest man in the city, 
the other representative of one of the first noble families 
of the place, were shot, together with the commandant of 
the fortress, who had not prevented the proclamation of the 
Republic, and a fourth, a burgher, who had baptized his 
son under the tree of Liberty by the name of Libertino. 
To make a further point to the example, the four bodies 

1 D. PETROMASI : Storia delta Spedizione deir Eminentissimo 
Cardinale Don Fabrizio Ruffo. Napoli, 1801, p. 17, et seq 

7 Sacchinelli, moreover, may have felt that he owed something 1 
to the Bourbon Government, from whom, since the year 1799, he 
received a regular pension of two hundred ducats. L. CONFORTI : 
La Repubblica Napoletana e I'Anarchia Regia, etc., p. 240, etc. 


were buried in the ruined church of S. Francesco d'Assisi, 
reduced at the time to a mere stall for cattle. 

Sacchinelli brushes past the whole incident, and lets it 
appear that these persons were condemned and executed 
after Ruffb had left Cotrone a view with which his dates 
and those of the certificates' of burial do not well correspond. 
Ruffo, however, was completely justified by the letters of 
his royal master, who wrote on February 26 : " As for 
the rebels who have fallen, or shall fall into your hands, 
[use] summary, military, exemplary punishment " ; and 
again, on March 28th : " The only thing that I regret is 
the too great leniency \dolcezzd\ you use towards those 
who have shewn themselves rebels." 1 

The apologists of the Bourbon and of Ruffo have tried 
to let it appear that neither the king nor the cardinal ever 
approved of the sacking of these unhappy cities ; but 
Ruffo's own letters condemn them both : " Cosenza," he 
writes to Acton, " has been taken and sacked. I hope the 
populace took part with the invaders in the sack, and may 
so help to curb the nobles and the middle class." 2 

At Cotrone the cardinal also learned a lesson. No 
single thing of the slightest value being left in the desolate 
city, almost the whole armed and motley horde of his 

1 DUMAS : I Borboni di Napoli, Vol. IV., pp. 219, 229, 231, etc. 
If it were not so dreadful, one could even smile at the naivete with 
which Ferdinand, in his letters to Ruffo, completely identifies his 
own interest, profit, and pleasure with the cause of God and religion. 
He often alludes to the patriots as persons who " were unfaithful 
to God and me." 

The French prisoners, it seems, were sent to swell the mixed 
multitude in the fortress of Messina, much to the horror of 
Ferdinand, who wrote hastily to Ruffo : " As for the French whom 
you found there, I send immediate order to have them sent to their 
own country, which I also find to be the best we can do, since, no 
matter where they may be kept, we must regard them as absolutely 

8 For the correspondence of Ruffo and Acton see Arch Stor. 
Nap., Vol. VIII. For the queen's letters to Ruffo, Ibid., Vol. V. 


volunteers disappeared in the night between Easter Eve 
and Easter Day, listening neither to prayers nor threats, 
regarding more the booty taken, which had to be carried 
safely home, than the promises of eternal salvation and 
other advantages at some remoter period. They promised 
to return when once they should have deposited their 
stolen property ; but the more part were never seen again 
in the army of the Holy Faith a fact which shows how 
little the great mass were imposed upon by the religious 
colouring of the enterprise, accepting the comedy much 
in the same spirit in which it was offered them. 

The rest of the irregular troops who had not been in 
time to share in the sack of Cotrone mutinied, some be- 
cause they had no share in the booty, some in horror at 
the results of this Christian warfare, others heartily tired 
of the sufferings and privations entailed by the enterprise 
in that severe weather. 1 By dint of ample promises and 
the utmost coaxing, about a thousand only of the irregular 
volunteers were persuaded to remain, besides the regular 
soldiers. With the help of the parish priests, however, the 
army soon swelled again ; arms and cannon were gathered 
here and there, and by the end of April, when Ruffo 
entered Basilicata, his forces numbered five thousand 
regular troops, twelve hundred of whom were mounted 
on mules or herdsmen's ponies, and carried long spiked 
staves ; a dozen cannon, but next to no artillerymen ; 
and, besides these, more than ten thousand irregular 
volunteers, armed with anything they could lay hold of. 

If at any time during these earlier months of his advance 
towards Naples the Republic had sent all its available con- 
centrated forces under an energetic and capable general 
to meet and attack the cardinal, it is not to be thought 
but that those undisciplined marauders would have 
scattered like chaff before the wind. But as their ill- 
fortune would have it, the republicans, when they had 
an able leader, dared not trust him ; and such forces 
1 SACCHINELLI, p. 132. 


as they had they scattered, and subdivided in a way 
that ensured their defeat. 

There was plenty of democratic sentiment in the 
provinces, and if the republican towns could have been 
held together by an organised militia, and supported 
efficiently and promptly by the central Government, a 
formidable barrier might have been opposed to Ruffo's 
advance. But the Republic, hampered and crippled as 
it always was, could do wretchedly little, and friendly 
cities and districts once gained were lost again because 
they remained so many isolated centres unable to offer 
any but a futile resistance to Ruffo's sheer force of 
numbers. Moreover, means of communication were 
extremely defective : this is shown by the present way 
of distinguishing the highroads ; there is the consolare, 
or old Roman road, and, besides, the strada nuova> or 
new road. These new roads, made at enormous expense 
under the Spanish kings, and restored by Carlo III., 
returned " to a state of pure nature " as soon as annual 
restoration was neglected, because they were so badly 
constructed. 1 A hundred years ago they were in complete 
disrepair, and only really came into being under Murat's 
energetic government : so that news took long to 
travel ; answers, help, supplies were slow in reaching 
their destination fortunate if they reached it at all. 
Such defective conditions were of course a greater draw- 
back to the French invaders than to the hordes of Ruffo 
marching leisurely on their own ground. 

In Puglia a curious freak of fortune came to serve the 
royal cause. A certain young Corsican, called Corbara, 
escaping from Barletta on the proclamation of the 
Republic with several compatriots, on seeking refuge in 
Brindisi was somehow taken by the populace to be 
Francesco, the hereditary Prince of Naples. The origin 
of the mistake has never been explained perhaps his 
being blonde and somewhat foreign in appearance was 
1 G. M. GALANTI : Nuova Descrizione, etc.. Vol. III., p. 120. 


enough. Corbara and his companions, finding that the 
people would not be undeceived, finished by entering into 
an imposture accepting the authority conferred upon 
them by the rejoicing crowds, and particularly receiving 
large contributions of money for the good cause. 

In the port of Brindisi, waiting for a promised Russian 
escort from Corfu, wretchedly accommodated with the 
sixty persons of their suite, were the two old princesses, 
aunts of Louis XVI., Mesdames Adelaide and Victoire 
de France. There was barely room on the vessel, writes 
one who formed part of their suite, to move, and for 
thirty-one days no one could undress. The two unfor- 
tunate princesses now did Ferdinand a good turn which 
he scarcely deserved at their hands. 

When he had arrived, flying from Rome, at Caserta, 
in the night of December I3th to the I4th, he assured 
mesdames, then lodging there, that the queen would visit 
them next day. The queen, however, went off to Naples, 
en toute hate le matin with the king, leaving an affectionate 
letter, protesting her readiness to share with them her 
" bread of tears," and declaring that the being able to offer 
them a refuge was an alleviation of her own sufferings. 
Next day the princesses dined with the king, and their 
common departure was arranged ; " it was thus with 
extreme surprise that they learned that, in spite of the 
most explicit promises, Ferdinand and Carolina had 
embarked furtively in the night of the 2ist to the 22nd 
of December. They had, however, remembered to make 
excuse by letter to the daughters of Louis XV., warning 
them of the hostile feeling of the Neapolitan populace 
against the French, and sending them a courier charged 
to escort them (by land) to Manfredonia, where they 
were to find a frigate to conduct them as they should 
prefer, either to Trieste or to Palermo." 1 

1 EDOUARD DE BARTHELEMY: Mesdames de France, Filles de 
Louis X V. Paris, 1870. And Memoir es Historiques de Mesdames 
Adelaide et Victoirede France, parM T . Paris, 1803. 2 vols. 


The poor old princesses, starting on December 23rd, 
had therefore crossed the Apennines in the heart of that 
severe winter, with their cumbrous suite in many carriages, 
to arrive on the Adriatic coast in February, and fly from 
place to place before the popular tumults and hasty 
revolutions, as the approach was rumoured of sixty thousand 
French. At Trani they are in terror of pirates, and em- 
bark on a chttive tartane for Brindisi. The failing health 
of Madame Victoire obliges them to put in to Bari and 
rest there. The revolution is imminent ; they embark 
again, but not before they have seen the actual distribution 
of the tricolour cockades. Storms oblige them to anchor 
at the Mole ; the tocsin is sounding, shots and cries are 
heard, and the glare of burning houses is reflected in the 
sky. Finally they reach Brindisi, and all eyes eagerly 
and anxiously scan the vessels lying there for the expected 
Russian escort, the promise of a Neapolitan frigate having 
failed them long before. Alas ! the ships had come, and, 
not finding the princesses, had gone again, nor were 
they able finally to leave for Corfu until March I5th. 

It was now represented to the princesses that it would 
give infinitely more weight and prestige to Corbara and 
his companions if they would receive him as the hereditary 
prince. Much against their inclination, they consented, 
and a crowd of boats in gala, flying the royal flag, escorted 
the hero to their vessel. Here he had a private audience 
of the princesses. " He hastened to inform them that he 
was the Comte de CorbeVa, a Corsican tmigr^ and very 
faithful to the king; that travelling on foot and sufficiently 
badly equipped, he would never have expected to be the 
object of so strange a mistake ; that he had resisted to 
the utmost of his power and always in vain. . . . The 
Comte de Chastellux asked him in what way he thought 
of bringing to a close a role so dangerous and so difficult 
to keep up. He replied that he had already persuaded 
the people to permit him to leave for Corfu, whither he 
would go to demand help from the Admiral Outschakow. 


His gentleness, his noble disinterestedness, the prudent 
and sensible conduct which he had observed in circum- 
stances so critical and so extraordinary, made him 
excusable and very interesting. It is certain that the 
populace would have massacred anyone who should have 
dared to deny that this stranger was the hereditary 
prince." l 

Corbara, with some of his friends, succeeded in embarking 
with this pretext, but they were immediately pounced 
upon by pirates and carried off to Tunis, whence they 
were set free by the help of the English consul a month 
or two later. 

Another of their party, De Cesari, left behind, profited 
by the prestige lent them by this curious incident to play 
a more effectual, though less extraordinary, role in the 
royal service, giving out that he was " charged by his 
Sicilian Majesty with the furthering of the royal interests 
in Puglia." Ruffo, to the disgust of Micheroux, made 
him a general, and he became extremely useful in 
collecting and leading fresh masses of troops. 

While the forlorn old princesses pass out of sight to 
end within a year their melancholy lives at Trieste, while 
Ruffo, De Cesari, Panedigrano, and the other famous and 
worthy leaders of the Santa Fede pursue their destroying 
march over the hapless provinces to join forces eventually 
with Russians and Turks and with the brigand leaders 
nearer the capital, it is time to turn back to Naples and 
see how the doomed Republic endeavoured to meet the 
oncoming danger. 

1 Memoir es historiques, etc., Vol. II., p. 251, et seq. y quoted from 
the journal of one of the suite. 


Military operations of the Republic Schipani Ettore Carafa 
Destruction of Andria and Trani Carafa' s humanity; retires 
into Pescara. 

SOON after the initiation of Ruffo's enterprise and the 
consequent ferment of revolt that bubbled up in every 
province, the Republic despatched forces to oppose and 
repress the "counter-revolution." Some twelve hundred 
Neapolitan troops under General Schipani set out for 
Calabria, and for Puglia five thousand French soldiers 
under General Duhesme, and the legion of Ettore 
Carafa, nominally twelve hundred strong, in part to be 
recruited on the road. These two columns, subduing 
the provinces of Avellino and Salerno on their way, and 
embracing Basilicata between them, were eventually to 
unite. The first column, marching by way of Salerno and 
Eboli, and on southward through friendly little towns, 
came one day in sight of the royal banner flying from the 
belfry of a little village, Castelluccio, perched upon a high 
and steep rock. Schipani, for any harm it was likely to 
do, might have left it behind him in peace, seeing that 
Calabria was his goal ; but he must needs attack it, and 
attack by the most difficult path. The people, terrified, 
sent one Sciarpa (soon after famous as one of Ruffo's 
captains) to treat with the invader, offering to become 
republicans one and all, and fight under their captain for 
the Republic. 

Schipani had the incredibly foolish arrogance to reject 



the proposals, saying he was come for war, not for peace, 
and the rebels must surrender at discretion or be prepared 
for the worst. Anger at such an answer gave them 
courage, with the result that Schipani was beaten back 
with heavy loss, retreated to Salerno, and gave up all 
further idea of reaching Calabria. 

This Schipani, under whose eye the young Guglielmo 
Pepe loved to distinguish himself, was an extremely brave 
and rash soldier, passionately but unwisely republican. 
Botta says of him that if battles could be won with words, 
Schipani might have been a conqueror, but that with all 
his ardour and dash he knew nothing of war. 1 It would 
have been odd had he known much of war, for he had 
been but a lieutenant in the royal army whose experience 
was so brief and disastrous. But the Republic was pleased 
by his fervour, and made him a general without more ado. 

This part of the expedition may be said to have failed 
completely at a moment when failure was fatal. Duhesme 
and Carafa, meanwhile, dividing and subdividing their 
forces, marched cautiously through districts where revolt 
was imminent or already accomplished, subduing small 
places on their way, and making examples from time to 
time. But although their success was apparent wherever 
they went, and their united columns were received at 
Foggia with open arms, it would have required an infinitely 
stronger force than they could command to give solidity 
to their work. As for the cities whose unhappy fate had 
decreed they should be counters in the game, they simply 
fell into the hands of whichever party could be first upon 
the scene, and there was little to choose as to the results 
of a royalist or a republican sacking and burning. The 
figures of the French generals, on that scene at least, are 
very much alike ; and when, in May, Duhesme and Olivier 
are recalled, in order that Macdonald may concentrate 
his forces near the capital, and Broussier presently takes 

1 CARLO BOTTA : Storia d' Italia dal 1789 al 1814. Lugano, 
1839, p. 415. 


Beheaded, September 30, 1799, aged thirty. 

[To face p. 190. 


their place in Puglia, as far as the Neapolitan point of 
view is concerned it is but another name for the same 

The one figure that greatly interests us among the 
military leaders mustered by the Republic, unlucky or 
inefficient as most of them were, is that of Ettore Carafa. 
After his three years' imprisonment in St. Elmo and his 
lucky escape thence, Carafa had made his way to Milan, 
and was there when Buonaparte ordered the march on 
Rome. Carafa, charing under inaction, made common 
cause with the French. He was commissioned by General 
Joubert to raise a " legion " of volunteers, and devoted 
his brimming energy and military talent to making them 
efficient soldiers on the model with which he now became 
familiar. The instant the Neapolitan Republic decided 
on sending an expedition into Puglia, Carafa set to work 
to raise a Neapolitan legion, equipping the men at his own 
expense, and drilling them with unflagging zeal. He was 
a born soldier and a born leader of men, and though his 
appearances on that scene are so brief that before one can 
see him well he is gone, yet his vigorous, heroic personality 
impresses us at every glimpse we have of him. Colletta 
calls him " libero per natura," and it is the impression he 
still makes upon us. General Guglielmo Pepe, who knew 
him well, two of whose elder brothers, Florestano and 
Ferdinando, served as lieutenants in his legion, describes 
him as having a heart burning with patriotism and with 
extreme ambition, so that one could not say which of these 
two passions more prevailed in his soul. The suspicion 
does not seem to have been far from the minds of some 
of his contemporaries, unable to comprehend so ardent a 
passion unprompted by self-interest, that Carafa's ambition 
might one day dominate the Republic. Some writers 
appear to think this the only explanation of his having 
always been kept at a distance from the capital, a fact 
which certainly does not require any such construction, 
patent as it is that Carafa was the only energetic and 


capable soldier the Republic could depend upon, the only 
one who succeeded in carrying out his instructions who 
had, moreover, a personal prestige such as none else could 
have in Puglia, where lay the vast feudal property of his 
family. As for recalling him after his desertion by the 
French, such recall could only have remained a dead 
letter, hemmed in and cut off as he was. 

On his march to join General Olivier he made use of the 
civic guard of the small places he passed through which 
held for the Republic among the hills about Avellino, 
calling them out for a day or two, and then letting them 
go back to their place, while he marched on, cautious 
and audacious at the same time, making his ready wit 
serve instead of force and bloodshed, and subduing the 
towns by the magic of his imperious but winning per- 
sonality. In this way Volturara, Paternopoli, Salsa, 
Sorbo, Montemara were all disarmed. 

For all the patriotism that fired his own soul, one sees 
not much of the bombast in vogue in his reports to the 
President of the Republic. His enthusiasm was eminently 
that of action, and his sense eminently common-sense. 
He makes no particular appeal to the patriotism or the 
republicanism of the men he wants to come and fight for 
him, who can have no conception of the force of either 
word ; he merely takes good care to be able to pay them 
well as long as he wants them, and the men are there at 
his service. 

He finds himself approaching Montuoro, a big place 
which must perforce be taken ; his cavalry, owing to the 
nature of the ground, are of no use, and he has but a 
hundred infantry. He retires into the plain of Serino, and 
here is his account of the way he met the difficulty, written 
to Ignazio Ciaja, the poet, then President of the provisional 
Government : 

"In the evening I was abandoned by the civic guards 
of the neighbouring towns, except by those of Volturara 
and Paternopoli. Then seeing myself alone with 100 men, 

IX] kOSELLI 193 

in a place where cavalry could not manoeuvre, I withdrew 
into the plain of Serino, within view of the important 
posts of Turci and Le Pioppe. 

"At the same time I sent back the Paternesi and 
Volturesi, inviting their municipalities to give them their 
pay (in advance) and themselves to return next day. As 
the report spread among the people that the men were 
punctually paid for the days they served under me, the 
next morning, which was that of the 1 6th [of February], 
I was at the head of 800 men, of civic militia, ready to 
march upon Montuoro. 

"I ordered at Solofra rations for 1500, which made 
the inhabitants wonder how in one night I could have 
collected such a force, and spread my report as far as 
Montuoro, which began to tremble." 

And with so high a hand did Carafa carry matters, with 
blustering proclamations and terrible threats, that the 
men of Montuoro meekly laid down their arms, ran up 
tricolour banners, acclaimed Carafa, liberty, the Republic 
anything they were told, and gave a month's pay to all 
Carafa's men. 1 

In this report on the action against Montuoro, Carafa 
mentions a certain Captain Roselli as deserving of special 
honour, and in the Monitore for March I2th Eleonora 
Pimentel gives an account of an incident taken from a 
letter written by Roselli himself to a friend at Naples : 
" Having advanced beyond his company he found himself 
alone with .only four others, and as they retreated and 
fired their last cartridges, Roselli received the fire of more 
than fifteen shots together, of which not one wounded him, 
but he fell stunned to the ground. His companions fled. 
He was taken prisoner and condemned to be shot. When 
he had already the handkerchief across his eyes, he did 
not lose his presence of mind, and said coolly that he 
did not mind dying, but that he wished first to say two 

1 From the Monitore, of which the series has been printed by 
DRUSCO in his Anarchia Popolare. For Carafa's letter, see p. 123. 



words. This was accorded him, and so he said to the com- 
mander : 'In shooting me, a defenceless man, you have a 
sin the more ; I shall be avenged by my friends, and by the 
French troops, and I shall die glorious and even happy, 
for I die for my country, a thing unknown to you, since 
I don't know who the devil you are fighting for.' At the 
word patria the commander was moved, embraced his 
prisoner, and took him to his own house." Eventually 
Roselli was chosen as the mediator between the contending 
parties. This little incident illustrates the violent tension 
of men's minds, giving forth harsh discords commonly 
enough, but ready at a master touch to sound sweetest 
music. Alas ! that the master touch was, and is ever, so 
rare a thing ! 

Macdonald wrote and complimented Carafa upon all he 
had been able to accomplish with the loss of only two of 
his men, and dwelt with particular approbation upon his 
conciliatory methods in dealing with the revolted popu- 
lations. This direct testimony to Carafa's humanity is 
valuable, because Botta, Colletta, and other writers, unable 
to make use of contemporary documents, and writing 
rather under the influence of popular tradition, have 
represented Carafa as a man of relentless ferocity. 1 

The last action of Duhesme in concert with Carafa, 
before he was recalled by Macdonald, was the taking of 
San Severo, a large unfortified place north of Foggia, full 
of a determined royalist population, reinforced by "the 
ferocious inhabitants of the Gargano," so that the town 
could boast some twelve thousand fighting men, re- 
ported to be of desperate courage. This was the first 
severe action between the forces of the Republic and the 
royalists ; some three hundred French and republicans 
were killed and as many wounded. The loss on the other 
side is given by some as three hundred and twenty, by 
others as three thousand. Such as succeeded in escaping 

1 CARLO BOTTA: Storia d'ltalia, p. 416. COLLETTA: Storia 
del Reame di Napoli t Libro IV. 


made their way to the fortified cities of Andria and Irani, 
and there prepared to maintain a more effectual resistance, 
firmly persuaded that so great a force as that of San 
Severo could only have fallen through treachery. 

Duhesme was now recalled, and could only leave small 
garrisons in Foggia, Ariano, Avellino, and Nola as he 
retired. Besides having imposed a contribution of six 
thousand ducats upon loyal Foggia, Duhesme did not 
neglect further to maintain the French tradition in Italy, 
and on his retreat to the capital he robbed the post of 
seven thousand ducats, the property of private persons 
living in Naples. The fact is 'recorded, not without in- 
dignation, in the Monitore, where it is further stated that 
the Government have reimbursed the sum, and deducted 
the amount from the contribution due to the French. 
One perceives that the friction between the invaders and 
the Neapolitan republicans has increased, and that the 
Republic, too late, is becoming more independent in tone. 

Duhesme's scattered garrisons were by no means strong 
enough to keep insurrection in check. The royalists of 
Puglia immediately took new heart, and as the slender 
remnant of the republican forces withdrew from the sub- 
dued country to move against revolt elsewhere, it sprang 
up again behind them like grass from beneath the tread, 
and their work went for nothing. 

Puglia was the granary of Naples, and starvation 
threatened the capital if this province were alienated, or 
communication cut. Macdonald was therefore obliged 
to send General Broussier with instructions to march on 
Andria and Trani. The forces met at Cerignola, where 
they were reinforced further by a French brigade from the 
Abruzzi, where there were French garrisons keeping open 
communication with Rome. Barletta was chosen as the 

Andria, reinforced by some hundreds of armed men 
from Bari, was prepared to resist to the uttermost. Andria, 
Casteldelmonte, Corato, and Ruvo were all feudal towns 


belonging to the Carafa family, and Ettore Carafa was 
anxious that Andria, his birthplace, round which gathered 
all the recollections of his childhood, where were the homes 
of friends and retainers of his family, should not be 
attacked until peaceful means of persuasion had been tried. 
He was averse to the shedding of blood, and very loth to 
see his own city destroyed. Broussier consented to his 
trying what persuasion could do, and Ettore rode away 
from Barletta with his younger brother Carlo and a little 
escort of two French dragoons, and came beneath the walls 
of Andria to demand a parley. Voices from the loopholes 
called him by name to approach, and, full of happy 
anticipation, he spurred his horse in their direction. He 
was scarcely come near when two or three musket balls 
whistled past his head. They hurt no one, but of course 
he was obliged to withdraw, disappointed. He told the 
escort not to mention the incident ; but one of them, 
as they came back to headquarters, called out to his 
companions, " On a tire* sur le Commandant ! " The 
news spread swiftly and raised the greatest indignation. 
Broussier ordered the troops to proceed to the attack. An 
historian of the ancient city of Ruvo, apologising for the 
men of Andria on this occasion, says that those who fired 
on the duke were some of Bari, who had come in to help, 
and had no interest in trying to save the city. 1 

By dawn on March 3ist the republicans were under the 
walls of Andria. The Andriesi were ready for them at 
the loopholes ; every bell was ringing the alarm. In the 
middle of the city was set up an immense altar with 
draperies and tapers taken from the cathedral, surmounted 
by a large crucifix, beneath which was placed a portrait of 
the king. Priests and monks excited and encouraged the 
people, declaring that when mass had been celebrated 
the sacred figure was heard to say that no profane force 

1 R. CARAFA D'ANDRIA : Ettore Carafa, Conte di Ruvo, p. 40, 
et seq. GIOVANNI JATTA : Cenno Storico sulV Antichissima 
Cittb di Ruvo. Napoli, 1844. 


should ever suffice to take the city, which was defended 
by the cherubim. Furthermore, the image bore in one 
hand a placard announcing in big letters the imminent 
arrival of foreign soldiers to their aid. 

The city gates were four, and outside the walls was 
no ditch, nor further defence. Broussier sent a column 
against each gate, giving Carafa, at his own request, the 
post of greatest danger and honour in command of the 
assault upon the Porta del Castello, which looks towards 
Barletta, whence the French advance had been expected, 
and was therefore the most strongly fortified. It seems 
that Broussier used no artillery on this occasion, since the 
columns advanced with closed ranks against the gates, 
running under a murderous fire of grape-shot, which mowed 
down their front ranks. It was here that the gallant 
Florestano Pepe received those wounds in the breast 
which won him his captain's commission and made his 
brilliant military career one long martyrdom. Other 
captains, French and Neapolitan, fell to right and left. 
Carafa, brandishing his sword, bareheaded, his hair flying 
in the wind, was seen where the fight was thickest, leading 
the attack, and promising distinction to those who should 
be first to reach the walls. 

" Thus they arrived beneath the gate, and with the butts 
of their muskets strove to batter it in ; and as they strove 
they died, and as they died they cried, Viva la Repubblica ! 
and the wounded struggled up again fiercer than before." 1 
At last some French sappers came running, and 
with their axes hewed the gate to pieces. French and 
Neapolitans pressed in in disorder " under a horrible fire " 
from every window, and for two hours more the fight went 
on hand to hand, from house to house ; women and children 
throwing down stones, boiling oil, and boiling water upon 
the gradually advancing foe. At length the republicans 
were masters of Andria, and the sack and the massacre 
began. " In vain Carafa interceded, prayed, and finally 
1 CARAFA D'ANDRIA : Ettore Carafa, etc., p. 43. 


threw himself on his knees before General Broussier to 
save the city at least from being burned ; all was useless. 
Broussier was inexorable, being exceedingly irritated at 
the losses among his own men, caused in fact by his own 
want of precaution." J The French general gave the order 
that the city should be given up to military licence. 

" The city," wrote Carafa in his report to the provisional 
Government, " was all in flames, and the dead may be as 
many as four thousand. If I should wish to point out to 
you those who have distinguished themselves in my legion 
(excepting one officer who will I am sure resign his 
commission) I ought to name all the soldiers, corporals, 
sergeants and officers. I mention only the officers who 
have been wounded " ; and he proceeds to give an account 
of twelve captains and lieutenants, all severely wounded, 
demanding promotion for most of them. (This shows, by 
the way, that Neapolitans, well officered, could fight even 
to the point of satisfying such a commander as Ettore 
Carafa.) " Citizens," he concludes, " I am no longer in a 
position to be able to march, because the greater part of 
my officers, marching at the head of their men, have been 
wounded ; those same men who a few months ago looked 
with terror upon the fire of the enemy, those very men 
defend the cause of liberty and have been found deserving 
of mention in the report of General Broussier to the 
Commander in Chief in the way that you have seen. 
Further to encourage my legion," he writes finally, " I 
demand for the soldiers an extra month's pay, as a 
present, and a complete uniform for the officers." 2 It 
is to be feared that the bankrupt Republic was never 
able to grant the generous request. 

1 CARAFA D'ANDRIA : Ettore Carafa, etc., p. 45, quotes JATTA, 
Cenno Storico, with the remark that his testimony is the more 
valuable because he himself was a royalist and no friend of the 
Carafa family. 

* CARAFA D'ANDRIA : Ettore Carafa, etc., extracted from 
CARLO COLLETTA : Proclamie Sanzioni delta Repubblica Naole- 
tana. Napoli, 1 863. 


Unable to prevent the burning and sacking of the town, 
which Botta, Colletta, and others have asserted to have 
been principally his doing (an imputation which the 
accounts only brought to light later on, written by various 
local and contemporary historians, by no means of re- 
publican opinions, completely contradict), Carafa did his 
utmost to protect the innocent and helpless against the 
soldiery. The nuns Figlie del Nazzareno driven out of 
their convent by the soldiers, fled for refuge into the ducal 
palace, where Carafa took them under his protection ; and 
when at last the troops retired to Barletta, he left orders 
to his agent to see them all safely back into their convent, 
orders which were strictly carried out. It is also written 
of him that he found two French soldiers offering violence 
to a young girl in the street, and when they refused to 
obey his peremptory command to desist, he ran one of 
them through the body, and the girl took refuge with 
the nuns in his palace. 

A document has just been brought to light by Professor 
Sansone in the archives at Palermo which puts the killed 
in Andria at five hundred and fifty, and the houses 
destroyed at forty-two. We may therefore hope that even 
if these figures refer only to the Andriesi proper, and take 
no count of strangers who fell on the same side, Carafa's 
hasty first estimate of four thousand on both sides may 
be far beyond the mark. 1 

The account of the taking of Andria sent by the " revolu- 
tionary committee of patriots with the left wing of the 
army of Naples," from Barletta to the provisional Govern- 
ment, and published in the Monitore, is far more highly 
coloured ; one perceives immediately behind it the men of 
the tongue and the pen, not the men of the sword, to whom 
the realities of life are in themselves sufficiently appalling. 
Carafa is shocked at four thousand dead ; these glib 
persons do not hesitate to report complacently that ten 
thousand have " remained victims of their own crimes." 
1 SANSONE : Avvenitnenti, etc., p. Ixxv. 


They declare, further, that the French have " made it their 
first care to set free the patriots long detained barbarously 
in the prisons ; each soldier taking one under his protection 
has conducted him to his own house, remaining there on 
guard to guarantee him against pillage." This smacks a 
little more of the reporters and of the Monitore than of 
reality, but we may hope it was true. 

In Barletta after the battle there were illuminations and 
dancing to celebrate the victory. The soldiers went about 
selling the things they had taken at the sack, and it is 
left on record in an unpublished manuscript in the city of 
Barletta that Ettore Carafa had arrested and confined in 
the castle a dragoon who was going about dressed in the 
robes of the Madonna del Carmine, which he was trying 
to sell. 

Broussier and the other French generals had, of course, 
no scruples about such acts of barbarity as the burning of 
Andria, and regarded the sacking of a town as one of the 
legitimate rewards to be given to their men as often as 
a pretence could be found. Cardinal Ruffo and the mass 
of the priests had the same brigand sentiments (although 
the victims were their own countrymen), as we have seen, 
and shall presently see again. They served the king, the 
Church, the Holy Faith, and the end justified and sanctified 
any means ; but their country seems at times to have had 
no place at all in their scheme of things. 

After the reduction of Andria, Broussier attacked Trani, 
a city defended by massive walls and bastions, furnished 
with eight batteries, and having its north side upon the 
sea. The besieging infantry were placed behind the garden 
walls and on the terraced roofs of the houses outside the 
walls, whence they were able to direct a deadly fire upon 
the sailors who had charge of the batteries. Meanwhile, a 
few French soldiers discovered that a certain little fort in 
the sea was scarcely guarded. The water was breast-high ; 
but, carrying their muskets on their heads, they swam and 
waded to the rock, clambered up, and scrambled into the 

IX] TRANI 201 

fort, surprising and killing the few sailors who were there, 
neglecting their duty. Their signals soon brought them 
reinforcements from the shore, and when the royalists 
rushed to repair their negligence, it was too late. Mean- 
while, the defence of the walls had slackened in consequence 
of this diversion. The republicans at first suspected the 
cessation of the firing to be a trick to lure them from their 
shelter, and they hesitated to advance. Carafa rode alone 
up to the edge of the ditch, and, hearing distinctly the cries 
of fugitives within, he put his hat upon the point of his 
sword, and, turning to his men, cried, " Avanti, avanti ! Viva 
la Repubblica ! " The Neapolitans rushed to a last assault, 
and entered with ladders by the embrasures, the royalist 
marines flying in panic from their posts. Within the walls 
every house was fortified, and the loss of the republicans 
was very heavy, while the enemy was scarcely to be seen. 

At length the republicans thought of mounting upon 
the terraced roofs, and by breaking here a wall and 
there throwing across a beam or a plank, they passed 
from roof to roof, descending and taking the royalists by 
surprise, unprepared for and confounded by the sudden 
apparition of their enemies within their strongholds, 
rendering their defences useless, and frustrating their 
organised resistance. On April 1st the city was taken, 
sacked, and, says Colletta, reduced to heaps of ruins and 
dead bodies. The fate of Andria and Trani was shared 
by Ceglie and Carbonara ; many other towns laid down 
their arms, and Puglia was gained for the Republic. 

And now it was that General Macdonald, who had 
already collected his forces about Caserta ready to march 
northwards to reinforce the arms of France against Austria, 
recalled Broussier, like Duhesme before him, and the French 
retreated by Bari, Cerignola, and Foggia, leaving Carafa 
alone with his few hundred Neapolitans to enrol recruits, 
levy contributions, exact payments, and keep up as best 
he might the name and fame of the Republic. As the 
French retired from the Abruzzi also, General Contard 


consigned to Carafa the fortresses of Civitella del Tronto, 
Aquila, and Pescara, held hitherto by French garrisons. 
Carafa, with his slender forces, was no longer able to hold 
the open field, and, sending two of his majors, each with 
a battalion, to garrison Aquila and Civitella respectively, 
he himself, with only one hundred and forty men, retired 
into Pescara, where he remained in command until after 
the fall of the Republic. 

From Pescara he wrote towards the end of April to 
Gabriele Manthone, Minister of War at Naples, telling 
him how he had divided his legion, according to his in- 
structions, among the three fortresses. The letter deserves 
to be given at length, so completely does it reflect, in 
the brief, manly sentences with which it opens, the bitter 
disappointment of the soldier who has seen his opportunity 
snatched from him, but has no words to waste in useless 
complaint, and in the rest shows us the ardent, intrepid 
officer, rushing " like fire to meet the foe," kindling every 
man about him with his own ardour ; ready ever with 
frank praise, one seems to see the light in his eye and the 
generous smile, and to hear him singing, " The siege of 
Pescara." Alas ! when he left Pescara the Republic lay 
dead, and already the gulf yawned black and deep that 
was to swallow all the noblest of her sons, and not one 
nobler than Ettore Carafa. 

"... The withdrawing from Puglia," he writes, " where 
I had begun to organise the most brilliant recruiting 
(800 men formed a legion which was superb from the 
beginning), was a fatal blow ; the recruits not organised, 
the evacuation of the French, and the disorder of a region 
that has been abandoned, were an occasion of desertion. 

" I have kept 140 men here at Pescara, whom I have 
saved from the revolution of the whole province. 

" My situation is this : I have been besieged in Pescara 
since the loth instant 1 by the Brigands who have sacked 

1 The letter, begun towards the end of April, bears as its final 
date, May ist, when Carafa had been besieged about three weeks. 


and laid waste all the country round. I have wine, oil, 
bread and ammunition. My men shew as much firmness 
under the siege as they shewed valour in assaults. Not- 
withstanding their labours I can assure you their soup 
is always seasoned with patriotic airs, and especially 
with a Carmagnola which they themselves have composed 
for the siege of Pescara. 

" To-day I divided the seventy men off guard into seven 
little columns, giving the command of them to Captain 
Ginevra, and attacked the enemy upon a hill where he had 
his quarters : on all sides we went up alia repubblicana amid 
the sound of the firing and of the enemy's cannon, and 
amid the evviva alia Liberia ; in a moment we were masters 
of the height ; the enemy precipitated themselves into a 
valley, leaving however 30 dead and five prisoners. I 
took one gun of 24, and another of 4. While we were in 
action the Castellammaresi attacked the fortress on one 
side and were repulsed by a sortie. 

" P.S. As the boat could not leave because of the rough 
weather, I have the pleasure of announcing to you another 
success gained by the arms of the republicans. The 
brigands came back on the 24th (it was on the 25th that 
I had sent off this letter) to unite again on the field they 
had lost on the 22nd. Baron Dario of Chieti passes them 
in review, and I see once more a considerable number of 
the enemy swarming about the height of San Silvestro. 
I sally out on horseback with 12 chasseurs to reconnoitre, 
and receive a hail of bullets. I called a halt, waiting 
for the enemy, in case they should have a fancy to 
come down into the plain ; at the same time Captain 
Severino leads up the rest of my seventy infantry ; as they 
come up they raise a shout and are for rushing to the 
assault. On the one hand I found it very risky to attack 
more than 800 men, fortified at three points upon the 
hill ; on the other I would not lose the advantage given 
me by the enthusiasm of the soldiers. 

" So I divide my men into three columns, giving command 


of the right to Captain Ginevra, of the left to Captain 
Severino, and of the centre to second lieutenant Parant 
With drums beating and at the quick step our men 
advance without firing a shot : the enemy defend them- 
selves, but that intrepid courage takes them by surprise. 
I perceived the moment to be decisive and shouted to the 
cavalry to gallop up the hill. The enemy, confused at this 
new attack, without calculating their advantages, took to 
flight ; in a flash our men are upon the height and give 
themselves up to massacre. Night put an end to the 
slaughter ; the republicans, ferocious against the enemy, 
respected the fields of the peasants. The soldier has 
the right to sack a field taken by assault. They returned 
into the town covered with glory only. 

" I know not whether more to praise their courage or 
their virtue. All have done their duty ; but those who 
commanded the columns have shewn the soldiers how 
to rush to the assault. . . ." 1 

And so Carafa remained shut up in Pescara with the 
remnant of his dwindled legion, while the French went 
away northward, and Ruffo with his monster rabble 
drew on. 

1 From the Monitore, printed by DRUSCO : Anarchia Popolare, 
p. 219 


The English at Procida Troubridge perceives the Court policy 
Speciale The king's spirits rise as revenge comes within 
reach Ruffo's statesmanlike policy, and resistance to that 
of the Court The queen's prescriptions So-called trials at 
Procida " A jolly fellow" Caracciolo enters into action. 

SECONDING Ruffo's victorious march, and in support 
of his eventual attack upon the capital, the Court 
at Palermo, advised by Nelson, determined to occupy the 
islands of Capri, Ischia, and Procida, thus blockading the 
Gulf. The struggle between the more educated class, 
adherents of the Republic, and the sailor and fisher 
population strongly attached to the king, had been intensely 
bitter in the islands, and the Governor of Procida had 
fled to Palermo, giving place to a republican municipality 
which held its ground only so long as the royalists 
were too timid to revolt openly. 

On April 2nd, when the smoke was going up from ruined 
Andria, Captain Troubridge, on the Culloden, appeared in 
the Gulf, accompanied by seven other ships. 

His orders were to make himself master of Procida, to 
put himself in communication with the royalists on the 
mainland and in the islands, but not to bombard the 
capital unless the loyal inhabitants took up arms against 
the French. It is curious how this latter clause cor- 
responds with the " conspiracy of the Baccher," arranged 
first for April 1st, and put off to the 8th, when there was 
an expectation that the English were to bombard the 



town. Troubridge was further recommended by Nelson 
to bear in mind " that speedy rewards and quick punish- 
ments are the foundation of good government." 1 

By April 3rd it was already known in Naples that 
the English had invaded Procida and taken prisoners the 
members of the municipal Government. The prisoners 
were made in the usual way ; arms were handed to the 
populace and to all who rushed to protest their loyalty, 
and these naturally vied with one another in proving 
their zeal by cutting down the trees of liberty, sacking 
and setting fire to their rivals' houses, and dragging the 
better sort to the English ships in default of other or 
safer prisons. 

Troubridge, who of course knew nothing of the real 
state of the case, wrote to Nelson, " Your Lordship never 
beheld such loyalty, the people are perfectly mad with joy 
and are asking for their beloved master." Next day the 
Perseus is despatched to Palermo with an urgent message 
from Troubridge to Nelson : " Pray press the Court to 
send the Judge by the return of the Perseus, as it will 
be impossible to go on else ; the villains increase so 
fast on my hands and the people are calling for justice ; 
eight or ten of them must be hung." To which Nelson, 
in the same style, replied on the 7th, " Minerva shall bring 
the troops and the judge. Send me word some proper 
heads are taken off, this alone will comfort me." 2 The 

1 Despatches, III., p. 310. If good government only referred to 
a ship's crew, Nelson's simple maxim might have been well enough. 

8 This bloodthirsty request of Nelson's, which shows how his mind 
was possessed by the idea of making examples, may be paralleled 
by a passage in an official letter of February 29th, written by Prince 
Castelcicala to the Mayor of Cosenza, giving him the amplest 
faculty for executing martial law upon " ill-intentioned persons." 
" A few scoundrelly heads that you cause to fall will serve as a 
dam and be a terror to the evil-intentioned. ..." 

" Scoundrel thyself ! " commentSithe indignant Eleonora Pimentel, 
in parenthesis, "are then the heads of men oranges, or pears?" 

DRUSCO : Anarchia Popolare, p. 96. B. CROCE : Studii 
Storici, etc., p. 62. 


Neapolitan ship Minerva was to follow the British ships 
under command of the Conte di Thurn. 

The king and queen were not long in finding a judge 
to their mind Vincenzo Speciale, described by the queen 
in a letter to Ruffo as " one of those who have a reputation 
for severity." Speciale, having been presented to Nelson 
by Sir W. Hamilton, set sail on the 9th with orders to 
put himself under Captain Troubridge's authority, and 
to judge the prisoners "palatine modo et abrupto ad 
modum belli." 

The king and queen could scarcely contain their delight 
at the new turn of affairs, and began to gird themselves 
up for the slaughter ; their letters to Ruffo and his answer 
are very characteristic of the three. " Everything they 
have asked for has been sent immediately," wrote the 
king in facetious mood on the nth, "especially the judge; 
they do not stand upon ceremony, and so by the time you 
get this they'll have strung up plenty of cacicavalliy I 
recommend you therefore to act in conformity with what 
both I and Acton wrote last week, and he repeats by 
this letter, and with the greatest activity : Mazze e 
panelle fanno li figli belli ! ^ Now we are most anxiously 
looking out for news of the dear little Russians \dei 
can Russicelli\ ; if they come quick, I hope we shall 
soon string them all up [faremo la festa\ and with the 
divine help put an end to this cursed story." 

The queen writes : " . . . not much is left for me to tell 
you, but I see, from all accounts, that in the capital the 
greater number is of those who are good and loyal ; but 
I would not have any pity used, and the weeds that 
poison the rest must be hunted out, destroyed, annihilated, 
and transported." 

Referring to these bloodthirsty letters, Ruffo immediately 

1 A royal joke, in allusion to the shape of the common cheeses 
of South Italy, which have something of a bottle-shape, and are 
kept hung up by the neck. 

* Broomsticks and bread make fine children. 


wrote to Acton :"...! believe such a step [i.e. the 
sending of the judge] to be unpolitic, and as circumstances 
permit, I take the liberty of humbly laying my sentiments, 
unasked, before your Excellency, which you can then 
estimate as you think fit. In winning back Naples, 
I foresee that our greatest obstacle will lie in the fear 
of deserved punishment, in the despair of ever more 
being able to have employments, places and consideration, 
in the certainty of being always, in the midst of the 
re-established monarchical government, suspected and 
maltreated on every occasion. Now if we shew that we 
mean to try, and to punish ; if we do not make them 
believe that we are completely persuaded that it was 
necessity, error, the force of the enemy and not treason 
that occasioned the rebellion, we play into the hands of 
the enemy and cut off our own way to reconciliation." 

Wise and humane words which fell on deaf ears 
ears that would not hear ! When the letter reached 
Palermo, the king and queen and their foreign advisers 
and abettors had already tasted blood. 

Ruffo shows here his own view the only true view 
of the case of the Neapolitan revolutionists. The revolu- 
tion could not justly be considered treason, and such a 
view offered an escape from rigorous measures. But 
the Bourbon wanted pretexts for vengeance, not for 

Ruffo's constant and repeated argument was that the 
Court would only play into the enemy's hands by a 
rigour which confirmed men in rebellion who would 
otherwise avail themselves of pardon. " It even appears," 
he wrote, in one of his really fine letters of April 3Oth, 
" that no matter how great a rebel falls into our hands, 
no matter how he may have distinguished himself in 
rebellion, he ought to be pardoned. Read the history of 
France and of the many capitulations agreed upon with 
rebels, and it will be seen that often party leaders were 
pardoned who fought against kings ; nor are examples 


very remote from ourselves of agreements and pardons 
granted to persons less excusable than in this case, where 
a force hitherto invincible has almost obliged the peoples 
to revolt . . . " The republicans, he says, and for the 
moment it was very true, " are a little handful of bankrupts 
[quattro fallitt\" Does anyone, he asks, suppose that 
Moliterno and Roccaromana are republicans ? " What 
is the use of punishing ? " he asks again with his inexorable 
common sense; "indeed how is it possible to punish so 
many persons without incurring an indelible reproach 
of cruelty ? " 

"A few bombs and a general pardon will finish our 
business," he repeats on May 7th, and again, next day, 
begs Acton to "read his scribble" and expresses his 
extreme distress to see that i padroni (i.e. the king and 
queen) go on perpetually talking of more or less rigour 
always of punishment. " Now I continue to believe that 
our course should be the very opposite, and that the past 
transgressions ought sincerely to be pardoned." There 
will always be an occasion, he says, to punish obstinate 
rebels later on, if obstinate they prove. " Less rigour, 
I repeat," he says elsewhere, " and renounce your revenge, 
or at any rate let it be limited and above all very 

Here was a man worth twenty Actons, full of energy, 
activity, and good sense. But such a man served the 
Bourbon almost at the peril of his life, as we shall see, 
and retired from their immediate service as soon as he 
conveniently could. These wise counsels of his made 
a certain impression on the queen, but certainly not 
the impression Ruffo intended ; and Acton no doubt 
fanned her smouldering misgivings into a real torment 
of suspicion. The cardinal, she thought characteristically, 
was evidently seeking to curry favour with the Jacobins 
for his own ends of personal aggrandisement. 

While always professing the most profound admiration 
for Ruffo's wisdom, the queen never pretends to agree 


with him. At the same time the tone of her replies 
must be noted. So late as May 3rd she writes : " I 
am thinking of making a note on paper of various points 
and ideas, for the good of my ungrateful Naples . . . 
very far from meaning to have them adopted^ but for my 
own tranquillity to have said them. If my weak head 
allows me to put them together, I will send them for 
your Eminence's examination, and for your lights and 
judgment." 1 

When these " points and ideas " come, the queen 
declares that the spirit of revenge is unknown to her 
heart, and that her proposed course of action is dictated 
by the " extreme contempt " she feels for the rebels, who 
do not deserve to be won over. She calls the whole 
nation "vile, corrupt, and egoistical" as though nations 
could ever be other than egoistical ! " I say it with pain," 
she writes, " but those who have served the king, like 
Caracciolo, Moliterno, Roccaromana, Federici, etc., etc., and 
are now in arms against him, are to be punished with 
death ; all the rest transported. . . . These [i.e. the exiles] 
will not increase the strength of France, as they have 
neither energy nor courage. . . ." So that those who 
had neither courage nor energy were only to be exiled ; 
those who had both were to be put to death because 
they were dangerous. 

After a thorough purging out of all the guilty, the 
queen proceeds with her simple and easy prescription, 
" bisogna mettere pietra," a stone must be laid, and all 
buried in oblivion. Oh, stupid and cruel woman ! Well 
mightest thou desire to lay down that stone, and bury 
all the phantoms of the past ! 

" Such is my way of thinking," writes the queen, " with 
deference to the lights of your Eminence " ; and again : 
" Enough, your Eminence will know better than I what 
is necessary. Do not think me hard-hearted, nor a 
tyrant, nor vindictive; I am ready to receive and to 
1 Arch. Stor. Nap. V., Fasc. 3, p. 556. 


pardon all, but I believe it would cause the loss of the 
two kingdoms. . . ." 

Mingled with her recipes for the extirpation of pernicious 
ideas, and for the restoration of tranquillity at Naples, 
are repeated expressions of the queen's determination 
never, never more to live in Naples, never as queen 
to retire to some secluded spot, to some convent, never 
more to take part in the affairs of the Government, lest 
the blame of further misfortunes should fall upon her. 
Henceforth she will be nothing but the mere wife of the 
king. Some of these letters, where the pen seems to have 
rushed over the paper driven by the flood of the writer's 
bitter feelings, are really eloquent, and would be touching 
were it not that one knows how for fifteen long wretched 
years more Maria Carolina never for a day ceased to 
meddle and intrigue as actively as ever before, although 
with less satisfaction to herself because her first power 
was gone never to return. The king blamed her, we are 
told, and her perpetual meddling for all his disasters. 

Ruffo must have read her voluble effusions with a smile 
and a frown, and have trusted to events to frustrate the 
mischief it was too evident she would do if she could. 
She might and did, over and over again, and right up to 
the time of the capitulation with the republicans in the 
castles of Naples, profess to submit her judgment to the 
superior wisdom of the cardinal ; but he could only take 
these expressions at their true value, to be measured by 
the character of the writer whose loyalty was the sport of 
events. If fate were propitious, Ruffo might yet hope 
to carry out his statesmanlike and merciful policy, and to 
force it upon the Court by sheer necessity and by virtue 
of his full powers. But he knew that it never would be 
their policy, and that if the necessity on which he counted 
were to fail him, and it should be in their power to 
retaliate, nothing would prevent them from revelling in 

This revenge was already being initiated at Procida, 


in spite of Ruffo's earnest protest, under the protecting 
wing of the English ; perhaps it was some relief to feelings 
he was not in a position to express more openly when 
Ruffo at this time took occasion to remind Acton that 
the English were hated by all good patriots. 

Troubridge did not share the royal admiration for 
the judge sent from Sicily, whom he described as " the 
poorest creature I ever saw ; frightened out of his senses," 
and did not wish to have him on the Culloden. Sped ale 
told the English captain that seventy families were 
concerned, and from his urgent letters to Palermo one 
sees that Troubridge was right : he was frightened. On 
the one hand the royal commands, reiterated more strongly 
with every messenger, gave him no loophole of escape. 
He knew he must discover, more or less try (though this 
was the least important part), and certainly condemn to 
death, some ten or twelve Jacobins, if he was to maintain 
his position in the royal favour; but being Sicilian and 
accustomed to the prompt revenges of his compatriots, 
he stood in terror of the kinsfolk of his proposed victims, 
and begged and prayed his sovereign, and importuned 
Troubridge, to allow him to return to Palermo the moment 
the execution should have been accomplished. 

Meanwhile the royalists on the islands had been busy 
forwarding accusations to Palermo, which were now sent 
to Speciale, and served as documentary evidence against 
the prisoners. Considering the instructions given to the 
judge, one almost wonders they took the trouble to hand 
in any evidence at all, since in the very letter in which 
the papers were enclosed the Principe di Cassero, who 
was Minister of Justice, reminds the Governor of Procida 
that in trials for treason there are no particular forms 
nor laws, and the mode of procedure is " absolute and 
without distinction of persons." 

Troubridge meanwhile wrote to Lady Hamilton : 
" I have given the old judge all the wholesome advice I 
am master of, and to-morrow he means to begin. You 


shall know how he behaves. I feel highly honoured by 
her Majesty's notice ; I wish I could serve them more 
essentially and quick." 

If these brave Englishmen had felt a little less honoured 
by the flatteries of the queen, they might have been 
less blind in their judgment. At this same time Nelson 
was writing to his wife from Palermo : " Good Sir William, 
Lady Hamilton and myself, are the mainsprings of the 
machine, which manage what is going on in this country." * 
Behind Lady Hamilton one must understand the queen, 
and that sometimes the one and sometimes the other 
was the real " mainspring " of what " went on." 

Speciale wrote to Palermo at frequent intervals, always 
protesting his own zeal and complaining of the difficulties 
he had to contend with. His assistants were suffering 
with fever ; he himself had been awakened more than once 
in the night in terror at the frequent skirmishes between 
the English and the Jacobins " things," he observes, full 
of pity for himself, " which are bad for a man who has 
to lead a sedentary life." Meanwhile he thinks he may 
boast that in a few days he has completed a process which 
ought to have taken a year. In fact we find Troubridge 
already writing to Nelson on April i8th: "The Judge 
made an offer, two days since, if I wished it, to pass 
sentence ; but hinted that it would not be regular on 
some. I declined having anything to do with it. By 
his conversation I found his instructions were to go 
through it in a summary manner, and under me. I told 
him the latter must be a mistake, as they were not British 
subjects. The trials are curious ; frequently the culprit 
is not present: however, he assures me he shall soon 
have done with them all. I doubt it much. The odium 
I find is intended to be thrown on us ... " 2 

1 PETTIGREW : Life of Nelson, Vol. I., p. 214. 

7 Despatches, III., p. 357, note. Mark this policy of the Sicilian 
Court, so soon perceived by Troubridge, of throwing the odium 
on the English. We shall see it again. 


Of the imputed Jacobinism of some of the men executed 
in the islands, Speciale himself was doubtful. There was 
notably one Luigi Verneau, son of the commandant of 
Ponza, who had been arrested on the representations 
of a certain convic^ who produced in evidence a letter 
which was at once proved to be forged. Speciale was 
quite convinced of the falseness of the letter, and had no 
other proofs of Verneau's treason. He wrote to Palermo 
to know what to do, not daring to acquit an innocent 
man : " was he to arrest his steps ? " The Court told 
him " to proceed with his steps and report," and Verneau 
was accordingly hanged. 1 Well might Troubridge call 
the trials "curious"! 

To his disgust Speciale, urging " the custom of his 
profession to return home the moment they have con- 
demned," "hinted at a Man-of-War" Nor was this all. 
Speciale had written to Palermo expressing the na'fvest 
wonder, marvelling "that in all these islands there have 
never been hangmen nor gallows," and says that if by 
some means they cannot be found, the prisoners must 
be shot. He is further much taken up about three priests 
whom he has been ordered to condemn, as they cannot 
be hanged until they have been unconsecrated. Troubridge 
found these scruples sufficiently amusing ; not so, however, 
Speciale's views for carrying out the process. " I found 
also from his conversation," Troubridge writes to Nelson, 
" that the priests must be sent to Palermo, to be disgraced 
by the King's order, and then to be returned for execution 
to this place. An English Man-of-War to perform all 
this ! at the same time making application to me for a 
hangman, which I positively refused. If none could be 
found here, I desired he would send for one from Palermo. 
I see their drift: they want to make us the principals, 
and to throw all the odium upon us." 2 

The three unfortunate priests excellent men, who for 

1 SANSONE: Avvenimenti, etc., p. xli., et seq. 
8 Despatches, III., p. 358. 


mere peace and order's sake had urged their people to 
obey the Republic were sent to Palermo, and, having been 
unconsecrated by the Bishop of Cefalu, were brought 
back to die. Besides these three ecclesiastics, sixteen 
of the foremost men who had been municipal councillors 
and justices of the peace in Procida were sentenced to 
death, and Speciale reported how he had chosen the 
place before Santa Maria delle Grazie, where two of 
the condemned used to "preach liberty," and one foot 
of the gallows was planted in the very hole whence the 
tree of liberty had been torn. There was no disturbance, 
he writes with relief; on the contrary, the sentence was 
executed to the terror of the entire public and to the 
universal edification. 

" Some of the villains are very rich," Troubridge wrote. 
He did not know that the richer the man, the greater 
his Jacobinism was sure to be. 

Besides these more important victims, Speciale proceeded 
to clear the ground of a hundred more persons whose 
presence in the islands was considered dangerous to the 
State, and proposed that Captain Troubridge or Captain 
Foote should be charged to carry them away to some 
foreign port. Meanwhile they were shut up in the Castle 
of Ischia. 

Asked how it was that all the representatives of the 
Republic in Procida had been hanged, while those of 
Ischia and the other islands had not been punished ; 
Speciale wrote that Troubridge had set them all at 
liberty "on the consideration that their number was 
excessive, and that they were connected with all the 
families of that island, and that the quantity of prison- 
ers who remained in the power of the law was sufficient 
to spread terror." Let it be set down to the credit of 
Captain Troubridge on this occasion, although, alas ! 
many of them were taken again shortly after and hanged. 
To the Court no number seemed " excessive." 

And so our blundering English captains, sure of their 


mission under God, sure that they were serving a good 
king and a great queen, never once dreamed of hearing 
the other side, confidently assumed all these victims to 
be deserving of death, armed their oppressors once more 
against them, and lent English ships to serve as their 
prisons. It seems strange that Nelson and Troubridge, 
who do not spare their criticisms, and often so very 
strongly condemn most of the persons with whom they 
have occasion to deal among the royalists of all ranks 
and positions, never entertained a misgiving that a large 
party in opposition in such a state might possibly have 
some reason on their side. It never seems to have 
occurred to them that the case between the republicans 
and the king was an exceptional one, by no means a 
deliberate armed rebellion^of subjects against their monarch. 
And even rebellion should not have been altogether con- 
demned unheard by these most loyal devotees of the 
House of Hanover. 1 

Generosity, humanity, even wisdom, were, as we know, 
too much to expect from the Court ; but it is painful 
to find honest and gallant English sailors so blinded by 
partisanship as not to seek refuge, even in such common 
sense as that of Ruffo, from the necessity of butchery 
like that to which they lent their helping and protecting 

It was in this month of April that Troubridge received 
in a basket of fresh fruit the ghastly present of a man's 
head, sent from Salerno, with the following letter : 

"Your Excellency As a faithful subject of my king 
Ferdinando (whom God save), I glory in presenting to 
your Excellency the head of Don Carlo Granozio of 
Giffoni, who was employed in the administration directed 
by Ferdinando Ruggi, that infamous commissary. The 

1 " Is not rebellion a sin ?" asked the queen [Victoria]. " As 
a loyal subject of the House of Hanover," answered Lord 
John [Russell], " I am unable to say that it is." The Spectator, 
April 27th, 1901, p. 609. 


said Granozio was killed by me in a place called Li Pugi, 
in the district of Ponte Cagnaro, while he was endeavour- 
ing to escape. I beg your Excellency kindly to accept 
this head, and to consider what I have done as a proof 
of my attachment to the Crown. 

" I am, with the respect due to you, the faithful subject 
of the king, 

" Giuseppe Mancuso Vitella" * 

Had the kindly Troubridge become an ogre, that he 
wrote, upon the margin of the assassin's confiding letter, 
his own sympathetic approval : " A jolly fellow ! " And 
how was it that Nelson too enjoyed the story as a capital 
joke, and passed it on to Lord St. Vincent with his own 
facetious comment ? Did they not evidently regard all 
these Neapolitans contemptuously as a pack of " damned 
foreigners," with whose doings their own humanity and 
morality had no concern ? 

The beautiful islands, which hitherto had never seen 
a gallows nor a hangman (somewhat to the disgust of 
Speciale), became for the next few months the scene of 
these so-called trials, of this miscalled justice. Boat-loads 
of prisoners were carried thither when the Republic had 
fallen, and other executions took place. 

The appearance of the English at Procida in April, 
and the approaching prospect of the withdrawal of the 

1 R. PALUMBO : Maria Carolina, etc., p. 63. 

Among the pensions granted shortly after by the king to scores 
of persons who had suffered on his side, or claimed to have 
rendered some special service, a long list of which has just been 
published by Professor Sansone, is this : " To Donna Maria Giuseppa 
Gabellone due. 25 a month for the loss of her husband Don Carlo 
Granozio killed during the anarchy." The prefix Don both here 
and in the letter, and also the high amount of the pension, mark 
a certain rank in the victim. The name of Granozio is so uncommon 
that, coupled with the prefix and the same Christian name, one 
is justified in suspecting the two to be identical, in which case the 
victim was on the wrong side after all ! See SANSONE : Avvenimenti, 
etc., p. 433. 


French, led the republicans to use every means in their 
power persuasions certainly, veiled threats perhaps to 
induce Caracciolo to take command of their crippled 
marine. Caracciolo would rather have remained in Naples 
as a private citizen, taking his place in the National 
Guard, but avoiding further public action. But he was 
not a man to be left in peace at such a moment, and 
must sooner or later have yielded to the manifold pressure 
that was brought to bear upon him. The sight of the 
English ships may have turned the scale on the side of 
decisive action. 1 

On April 8th Caracciolo's first proclamation as head 
of the marine was published. It was couched in the 
violent and stilted language then greatly in vogue, and 
was probably edited and improved in style by some 
younger and hotter head than Caracciolo's just as the 
pastorals of Zurlo, the Archbishop of Naples (reporting 
Ruffo to have proclaimed himself pope and to be filling 
the provinces with blood and massacre), were written 
for him by some orthodox republican, and merely sent 
to him for his trembling signature. 2 

In this proclamation Caracciolo accuses the English 
of being the only cause of the ruin of the royal fugitives, 
"sacrificing every right to their own interest, perhaps 
they are now despoiling them of the treasure they carried 
off, while they still affect to protect them and are enjoying 
their confidence." 

Here is a true expression of Caracciolo's feeling : the 
English enjoyed, and enjoyed unworthily, the confidence 
of the sovereigns ; the foreigners in this instance once 
more were everything, \hzpatria nothing, a mere stepping- 
stone under their feet. 

This was no mean spirit of personal spite or envy. It 

1 The details of the naval action of the Republic are drawn from 
MARESCA : La Difesa Marittima delta Repubblica Napoletana 
nel 1799, Arch. Stor. Nap. XL, Fasc. 4, 1886. 

3 Diario Napoletano for April Qth. 


[To face p. 218. 


was most natural, inevitable, that Nelson (of whom it has 
sometimes been suggested that Caracciolo was jealous) 
should appear to him the very incarnation of that reckless, 
overbearing foreign interference which had ruined king and 
country, and had led to the Neapolitans' cutting such a 
pitiful figure in the eyes of Europe. Caracciolo himself had 
received an affront he must have been mean indeed to 
swallow, and which he knew he had not deserved. He 
must have hated Nelson, with all that he represented, 
from mere patriotism first, and next because it was his 
coming which had led to the sudden opening of an abyss 
between patriots and the king, with whom till then they 
had no quarrel. 1 And still the feeling cannot be called 
a private or personal feeling; Caracciolo respected the 
English, and would sooner have been tried by them than 
by Neapolitan royalists. 

On April 2/th a number of royalists came down upon 
Castellamare from Gragnano and attacked the fort that 
protected the Mole. The gunners in the fort refused to 
obey their officers, one of whom, the young Garofano, 
was killed by the insurgents. 2 The English came to the 
aid of the royalists, with whom they were probably acting 
in concert, in the Minotaur and the Swiftsure, landed 
some hundreds of troops and insurgents, and carried off 
another officer, a third being saved by the republicans. 
Caracciolo, with five gunboats, spent the whole day fight- 
ing against superior forces between the double fire from 
land and sea. 

Next day General Macdonald, with about four thousand 
men, took up his position at Torre Annunziata, and 
Caracciolo, who had returned in the night to Naples for 
reinforcements, came back, together with his friend and 
pupil Mazzitelli, with a few more gunboats and the solitary 

1 The queen was almost universally hated and blamed ; but no 
one blamed the king in 1799, except for mere fashion. 

8 See the letter written to his father by Gabriele Manthone, in 
the Monitore, DRUSCO, Anarchia Popolare, p. 201. 


frigate of the Republic. For the time the English were 
driven off, the forts retaken, and the royal banners carried 
in triumph to Naples. 

This was the first time that Caracciolo actually entered 
into action against the English. Whatever price he may 
have foreboded he was to pay for it eventually, this day's 
action, the success of which at sea was due to him, must 
have been balm to his bleeding patriotism. 

Now that the English were already on the scene, the 
Republic urged on too late the fortification of the coasts. 
Officers and artillerymen went to Salerno and to Sorrento 
to construct forts; others were erected on the Mole at 
Naples. To fill the earthwork behind the battery the 
civic guard were called out, and were eagerly helped 
by the passers-by, and even by noble gentlewomen, such 
as the Duchesses of Cassano and Popoli, who were seen 
carrying baskets of earth and stones with the rest. 1 

The construction of fresh gunboats was ordered, and a 
conscription called for the marine ; but these measures 
came far too late to be of the smallest use. 

On April 25th the Gallo-Spanish fleet sailed out from 
Brest and entered the Mediterranean on May 5th, so 
that Nelson was obliged to summon the English ships 
away from Procida, leaving only the Sea-horse and a 
few smaller vessels to keep up the blockade, together with 
the Neapolitan frigate, the Minerva, and a few gunboats 
and galeots. 

On May I5th Manthon& received information that the 
bulk of the English force had departed. It was the 
moment to be seized for an attempt to dislodge what 
remained of the enemy, and on the i6th Caracciolo was 
ordered to prepare immediately for an attack on Procida. 

Caracciolo lost no time, and that same evening spread 

his little force in order of battle before the enemy in the 

Canale di Procida : six bomb-vessels, eight gunboats, two 

galeots, and a number of small supplementary unarmed 

1 Diario for May 7th. 


boats. In this action took part Luigi de la Granelais, 
Giambattista de Simone, Andrea Mazzitelli, and RafTaele 
Montemayor, all four eventually executed. 

At dawn on the i/th Caracciolo began the attack, and 
reported afterwards that the first fire of his men was 
so well directed that the sailors were transported with 
enthusiasm, and maintained so spirited a fire that the 
enemy retired within the protection of the batteries on 
shore. The Minerva, commanded by the Conte di Thurn, 
was at one time surrounded by the little republican fleet, 
and their hopes of victory were rising high when a fresh 
breeze sprang up as it constantly does towards midday 
in the Gulf and the sea grew rough. In the Canale di 
Procida the sea is always rougher than either outside or 
in the Gulf itself, and the little fleet of the patriots, taken 
by the strong current, had much ado to retreat before 
the enemy could take advantage of the situation. 

Caracciolo's official report made the best of the action ; 
but perhaps his losses were more serious than was 
allowed to appear. He professed to be satisfied with the 
behaviour of his men, whose courage and steadiness of aim 
he praised, speaking pointedly of the right wing and part 
of the left. Another part of the left, however, seem to 
have behaved badly, and to have retired before the order 
was given. 

The Minerva was damaged in the action, a fact to be 
borne in mind when we come to the trial of Caracciolo, 
less than six weeks later. 

Caracciolo left the boats which were still sound in the 
port of Miseno, and brought the damaged ones back to 
Naples, hoping to return speedily to Procida and dislodge 
the enemy. 

Meanwhile, at the news that five sailors had been killed 
and as many wounded, all the sailors and fisher-folk were 
in an uproar, and dishevelled women went screaming 
through the streets, calling for their husbands and sons. 
They may not improbably have been encouraged under- 


hand to exaggerate this display by the agitators with 
whom Naples was teeming at the moment. 

The state of the sea, perhaps, or the consciousness of 
its futility, or the absolute impossibility of inducing a 
sufficient number of sailors to serve, prevented a second 
expedition to Procida. 

The Executive Commission did all in their power to 
tempt sailors into the public service. They decreed 
a present of fifty ducats to each bereaved family; the 
continuation of the pay to one member of the family ; 
to each daughter a gift of twenty-five ducats ; to the 
wounded a gratification of fifty ducats and a month's 
double pay. Besides this, the State adopted the sons of 
the family, the adult being taken at once into the marine, 
and the younger educated at the expense of the State. 

But the well-meaning promises and decrees of the 
bankrupt Republic fell quite flat before the more substantial 
persuasions of the other side, and bitter were the invectives 
of Manthone and the Government against the seduction of 
"English gold." 

Whether it were English or Sicilian gold, or only the 
growing persuasion that the Republic was in its death- 
struggle, or the influence of both or all three, certain it 
is that the apparent forces of the Republic fell away 
wherever they were touched in these days, like the 
dust that seems to clothe a skeleton, and left as it were 
nothing but the grim effigy of decay and death. 

Acton, writing to Ruffo on June 1st, says that he 
knows the greater part of the republican troops are 
royalists at heart, who have enlisted for the express pur- 
pose of creating confusion and dismay when the pinch 
comes. Of such, in the artillery, many were discovered 
and arrested, but there could be no real remedy. 

June 5th saw the last victory of the Republic. Schipani 
drove back the royalist insurgents from Torre Annunziata 
with great loss. In this action he was greatly assisted by 
Caracciolo, who supported him with gunboats from the sea. 


The Sanfa Fede according to Baron Helfert Micheroux describes 
the "royalised" provinces Advance on Altamura Sack of 
the city and neighbourhood A republican massacre Sciarpa 
Picerno Tito Libero Serafini. 

BARON HELFERT, the Austrian champion of Maria 
Carolina and of Ruffo, has painted such a charming 
picture of the edifying march of the Christian army that 
his reader almost comes to regard them as a sort of 
guileless shepherds, scrupulously bent on the observance 
of religious festivals, officers and men alike imbued with 
the high conviction that their undertaking was under 
the special protection of the Almighty. In their spare 
time, refreshed by Sabbath rest, and when prayer no 
longer occupied their thoughts, they advanced, all smiles 
and merriment, singing and dancing and playing on 
instruments of music, a glad, festive procession ; so that 
while before the march of other armies the populations 
are wont to flee and hide themselves, here men and 
women, old and young, ran in crowds to meet them, 
beckoning them on and clapping their hands as they 
echoed the cry of the passing army, " Viva la Religione ! 
Viva il Re ! " * 

This description reminds us of one of Ruffe's historians, 
Fra Cimbalo, who joined the great expedition about the 
middle of May, and eventually received a pension in 
consequence. This monk, when he recalls to mind one 
of the religious functions of the Christian army, protests, 

1 HELFERT : Fabrizio Ruffe, etc., p. 204, et seq. 


that he is constrained to lay down his pen, " because of 
the abundance of hot tears that impede my sight, and 
oblige me to suspend my work for a space while I 
meditate upon the exuberant joy experienced in that 
day, marked by me as the most memorable of my life." 

Regarding Ruffo's expedition in this rosy light, it 
is scarcely surprising that Helfert should be indignant 
with the republicans for calling the Sanfedisti briganti, 
notwithstanding the fact that Ruffo himself, writing to 
Acton in April, described them as " all ferocious men " 
(tutta gente feroce). Helfert, for his part, cannot use the 
name patriot without underlining it, to emphasise his 
scorn for the men to whom it was accorded then by 
friends and enemies alike. Nelson alone took exception 
to the name, and complained in a letter that Ruffo 
persisted in calling the rebels patriots, adding : " What 
a prostitution of the word ! " 1 

We shall see the army in another light now that our 
story brings us into the already devastated and desolate 
province of Puglia, lately won for the Republic, now 
abandoned and defenceless once more. 

Ruffo's object was now Altamura in Puglia, a city 
built on the confines of three provinces and surrounded 
by high walls. Some force of republicans had gathered 
there, especially of fugitives from Basilicata and Puglia, 
and a General Mastrangelo had been sent from Naples, 
together with the usual " democratiser," one Nicola Palomba, 
the one to organise the military defence, the other the 
republican sentiment of the place. The French were 
expected to arrive with reinforcements ; but, as usual 

1 But Nelson's complete misapprehension and ignorance of the 
situation and the men he was so ready to judge are too evident 
in all we find him writing and, alas ! doing at this time. It is 
enough to contrast his views with those of Paget, Elliot, Sir John 
Moore, and others who came upon the scene very soon after, and 
expressed themselves in language of trenchant condemnation such 
as no patriot could have wished to surpass. See The Paget Pagers 
and the Countess of Minto's Memoir of Hugh Elliot. 


in the course of all this story, the bruised reed of France 
gave way and pierced the hand that leant upon it : no 
French soldiers made their appearance. 

The cities which but yesterday had planted the tree 
of liberty and shouted " Viva la Repubblica," hastily, on 
the approach of the terrible army, hewed it down and 
set up the Cross, shouting, " Viva il Re ! " " Muoiano i 
Giacobini ! " and often the action was suited to the 
word, and real or supposed or pretended Jacobins paid 
with their lives the long smouldering grudges of the 
partisans of the other side. 

In fact, as Ruffo drew near Matera, the royalist mal- 
contents in that city " reduced the tree of liberty to pieces 
and obliged the citizens to change their sentiments," and 
with this pretext they began robbing the neighbouring 
territory. In hundreds of places the same things happened ; 
the political sentiment was shuffled on and off at the 
dictation of expediency, and each wretched change was 
sealed with the blood of new victims, and became the 
occasion for new licence and robbery. At Palermo 
they were congratulating themselves upon Ruffe's success 
and upon the number of towns " won over to religion and 
the Throne." 

What this phrase really stood for nothing can better 
portray than some extracts from a letter written at this 
time by Antonio Micheroux from Lecce to Acton, dated 
May 8th. 1 Micheroux was royalist to the core, and was, 
as we have seen, a man of higher principles than Ruffb, 
with whom therefore he could not always agree. 

" Meanwhile as I come to obtain a better knowledge 
of these provinces, I am constrained to say that I have 
found them plunged in the utmost misery. In the name 
of the king a horrid anarchy and popular licence hold 
iron sway. Except in the good city of Brindisi, Ostuni, 

1 B. MARESCA: // Cavalier e Antonio Micheroux nella reazione 
napoletana dell' anno 7799, Arch. Stor. Nap. Anno XIX., Fasc. i , 
p. 97, et seq. 



and one or two other places where the syndics are as 
devoted to the king as they are upright, humane and 
beneficent, there reigns on all sides a robespierrian terror. 
Almost everywhere the populace have deposed their law- 
ful governors and magistrates, replacing them generally 
with violent, persecuting men. Under pretext of arming 
which has not proved of the slightest use where the 
very smallest number of men has had to be faced 
besides having consumed all the public money, and 
brought every commune into debt, the quality of wealth 
and of jacobinism has come to be one and the same 
thing. 1 The great number of imprisonments has produced 
the most atrocious class-war, hatred between families 
and a widespread understanding among the prisoners 
against the populace and their leaders. These latter 
become ever more suspicious and timid, and therefore 
more cruel. ... It would be impossible to me (and 
would require volumes) to describe the melancholy state 
of these parts. The revolutionised provinces of Italy, 
whence I come, 2 are as gardens of Eden in comparison 
with the province of Lecce, royalist as the popular fury 
has reduced it. Let it be added that so much calamity 
is fruitless, both for the royal treasury and for the fame 
of his Majesty, and for the future destiny of this land, 
which like that of all Italy, depends solely on the struggle 
of the armies of the great powers in Lombardy." 

In another passage in the same letter Micheroux speaks 
of the Russian commodore as being " ready to fight with 
alacrity against the French or against jacobins in arms, 
but quite contrary to the employment of his forces for 
sustaining that terrorism which the self-styled royalists 
are endeavouring to perpetuate without necessity, and 
without justice." 

1 This sentence does not construe perfectly, and was perhaps 
interrupted, but the meaning is sufficiently obvious. 

' Micheroux had lately come from Milan, the capital of the 
Cisalpine Republic. 


What was patent to the newly arrived Russian officer 
was not hidden from Ruffo; but his rough-and-ready 
policy could not afford to scrutinise too nicely the 
instruments he was using, nor to look beyond the one 
immediate goal. 

An Altamurano of those days has left a manuscript 
chronicle of " Facts to be sent down to posterity touching 
the misfortunes which happened in Altamura, because 
of the sack suffered at the hands of the Calabrese, united 
with the Materani who from friends became antagonists 
in the year 1799."* 

Our chronicler, who was an eye-witness of all that he 
describes, and is neither altogether a republican nor yet 
anxious to put things favourably to Cardinal Ruffo, gives 
a fearsome picture of the advancing swarm seen from 
Altamura on May 9th. Their number, he says, "might 
be calculated from the extent of some three miles of 
road along which they came trampling in confusion," 
an immense horde of brigands, covered with rags and 
vermin, fourteen or fifteen thousand. The brigands of 
the cardinal were reinforced, according to Sacchinelli, 2 by 
a " redundance " of men from all the neighbourhood, who 
suspected that Altamura was going to be pillaged, and 
were unwilling not to have a share in the spoil. 

From Matera, disguised in all sorts of ways, Ruffo sent 
out priests, monks, engineers, and others to spy and 
reconnoitre and bring him information. Last of all 
he sent a messenger under the protection of a white 
flag. But not one came back. Ruffo accordingly began 
the attack. 

The men of Altamura defended themselves as long as 
they had ammunition, but so scanty was the provision that 
after one single long day's fighting it was all spent, and 
in the last charges many coins were found. No better 

1 L. CONFORTI : (/7pp) La Repubblica Na^poletana e /' A narchia 
Regia, etc., p. 105. 
3 SACCHINELLI, p. 162. 


example could be quoted of the helplessness in military 
matters, and the dilatory incapacity in action, that 
distinguished the republican Government. It would be 
inexplicable did one not remember the state of bankruptcy 
to which the Republic became heir ; but even so, it is 
difficult to avoid the reflection that proper capacity and 
energy might have put a very different face upon things, 
money not being the only, nor even the greatest, lever 
among men. 

Further resistance being impossible, the people of 
Altamura determined to make a sortie in the night with 
their women and children, break through the besieging 
mass of the enemy, and try to reach some place of shelter 
and safety. About two-thirds of the men volunteered for 
the first hazardous sortie ; the women and children were to 
follow behind the men, and were warned, in case there 
should be firing, to throw themselves upon the ground, 
" having the firmness not to speak, and above all not to 
cry out." The shouts of the men sufficed to alarm and 
scatter the unwarlike enemy, and many young men went 
back to encourage the rest of the people to follow, with 
the result that few remained behind. 

Great was the astonishment of the besiegers in the 
morning to receive no response to their bombs. Ruffo, 
always timorous, at first suspected an ambush ; but 
seeing that the silence remained unbroken, and being 
repeatedly assured by spies that all was safe, he assumed 
"the sacred Cardinal's robes," and, preceded by a monk 
bearing on high the Cross, and attended by one of his 
captains on either side, headed the procession, which 
made some sort of formal entry into the city. 

Already during the preceding days, from all the towns 
around Matera, Gioia, the Casali di Bari greedy crowds 
had collected about the fated city with carts and oxen 
and mules, ready to carry away the spoil. 

Ruffo's chief care, at the sack of Altamura, was to 
prevent a second escape of his brigands with their booty, 


and such a melting away of his forces as had been 
occasioned by the sack of Cotrone. By exorbitant 
promises he succeeded in inducing his own guard to 
remain about him while the sack went on. The city 
gates were all guarded, and all the booty, by Ruffo's 
orders, was brought together in the piazza where he 
sat, and divided to each man his portion by the 
officers, priests, and other leaders. 

Racioppi 1 taking due account of all the notices of the 
fall of Altamura which have come down to us believes 
that Ruffo had no deliberate intention of sacking the city ; 
and that after the disastrous example of Cotrone, he had 
meant to reward his followers by levying an enormous 
fine upon Altamura. However this may have been, such 
little restraint as he could exercise was suddenly scattered 
to the winds by a discovery over which republican writers 
have drawn a veil, and of which even the Altamuran 
chronicler, for the honour, perhaps, of his fellow-citizens, 
says nothing. 

This is Racioppi's account : 

"The first who on the morning of the loth entered 
into the city, went in search of those priests, monks, 
engineers and messengers who had not returned to the 
camp ; and particularly, among these, of a certain 
Vecchioni, an officer of the regular army, who had gone 
under the safeguard of the white flag. They believed 
them to be in prison, and ran to set them free. But the 
government of the patriots, on the same day of the pth 
when they abandoned the city, had transferred them, and 
others whom they called brigands of the Cardinal, to the 
Church of San Francesco, and they were 48 in number, 
and in that Church they were bound two and two, 

'GlACOMO RACIOPPI: Storia dei Popoli delta Lucania e 
Basilicata, Vol. II., p. 271. 

The passage is quoted entire, because in its temperate historic 
sympathy and conscientiousness, nothing could be juster or more 
to the point. 


and shot. And since time was short, and Hannibal in 
purple was at the gates, a vault was uncovered, and dead 
and dying, corpses and living men, were tumbled in in 
their chains. It is said that a sudden council of war 
condemned them to death ; and I believe it ; and I believe 
also that in good faith, as though bound in honour to their 
patriotism, those who ordered, those who judged, and 
those who executed, goaded themselves to these acts 
of maniac political wisdom. I believe it, and I account 
for their blindness ; blindness of party, blindness of 
patriotism, which acted and agitated in the same way 
on the Seine, on the Sebeto, at Altamura, in other places, 
and even yesterday, as we have seen, in our own days ; 
nor have the light and humanity of our times yet made 
it clear to liberals, to patriots, that acts like these are even 
more follies than crimes ; they are murderous explosions 
of arms that wound those who handle them ; and with 
such a wound as remains for ever, and although healed, 
still bleeds. 

" The newcomers uncover the grave and draw forth 
the bleeding couples : the more part are dead and cold ; 
others, not yet dead, expire in the light so long desired 
in vain ; three of those disinterred revive, and lived for 
many years. History gives us their name, their condition, 
their age ; one was the messenger Vecchioni ; another was 
of Matera, and was called Emanuele di Marzio. 

"This was the spark which gave fire to the powder; 
and these are the facts. It is not honest to suppress 
them ; all are free to judge them, to explain or to excuse 

So this was the immediate provocation at which Ruffo's 
inflammable hordes took fire; and there was no more 
talk of fines and contributions. Systematically, one by 
one, every house, shop, tavern, church, and convent was 
sacked. The few people left in the city were massacred, 
only the nuns of the two convents escaped by going in 
procession to Ruffo, with their confessors, " praying pardon " 


and a refuge. The pillage went on until the houses were 
absolutely bare ; in the country round all the sheep, cows, 
horses, and every kind of animal were carried off, as well 
as "hens, turkeys, geese, and every feathered thing, and 
all the instruments of iron, cords and every sort of rural 
implement, and all the provisions stored in the barns, from 
the parts about Casale, le Torri, Fece and Carpentino. . . . 
Persons wandering in the fields . . . also had the bad 
fortune to be stripped, and of those poor unhappy women 
they took their earrings, with the daggers (of silver) they 
wore in their hair, and their silver buckles, while the more 
part of the masses in the city proceeded with the exter- 
minating sack, gold, silver, copper, lead, even from the 
window frames, silk, linen, wool, salted meats, cheeses, oil, 
and they even broke the glasses of the old carriages, and 
carried off the good ones. 

" They pillaged all the Churches, the Cathedral, and the 
Collegiate Church of San Niccolo, as also all the convents 
of rich and poor brethren, . . . and lastly the Calabrese 
took all the sacred furniture, pixes, chalices, patens, 
corporals, stoles, chasubles, surplices, wax and all neces- 
saries of divine worship, by the counsel of the most 
eminent Ruffo, qui benigne annuit" 1 

The chronicler, apparently himself a priest, further relates 
how Don Gaetano Redichichi, Ruffo's Calabrese confessor, 
" betook himself with his morality to the cathedral," and, 
calling the sacristan, asked for the keys in order to appro- 
priate the silver vessels. " Everything has been carried 
off by your associates," replied the sacristan, but he did 
not get rid of the holy man until he had given him the 
thirty-six grant (a matter of a franc and a half) he 
happened to have about him. 

Another Calabrese priest, who three years before had 

conducted the Lenten missions in Altamura, now came 

in uniform at the head of a legion of Calabrese, with 

sword and pistol like the rest. This man gave orders to 

1 MS. chronicle, already cited. 


his people to bring him every sacred vessel they could 
find, and bought them by the pound at the price of 
old iron. 

So much for the priests ! 

" Those of Matera," proceeds the chronicler, " took away 
105 carts loaded high with the best of the pillage, besides 
horses and mules they had stolen, all laden with the 
finest linen, wool and silk, coverlets, kitchen utensils in 
short everything they could carry, and brought them 
to Matera. 

" Others set up a sale in the booths of the market-place, 
and the unlucky Altamurani who wished for a change of 
linen or other things, were forced to buy them of the 
Calabrese. The sack went on in the town and in the 
country round ; it lasted more than fifteen days. Oxen, 
cows, mares, sheep, farm-horses, they led away to Matera, 
whither went their owners and ransomed them with much 
money. Another number of stolen cows they carried to 
Montepeloso, and thence the Altamurani ransomed them, 
and those unfortunates shut their eyes tight as they flung 
down their money \serravano gli occhi a buttar denaro\ 
because they had their little farms without an ox [to till 
the land]. 

" The Gioiesi stole about 3000 sheep, and it was never 
possible to ransom them, because whatever the Gioiesi 
stole they appropriated to their own use." 

These people of Gioia, Matera, and Montepeloso were 
not even supposed to be engaged in the holy war; and 
from this sample one may divine how very little the 
Calabrese themselves are likely to have believed in the 
sacredness of their mission. 

The poor chronicler describes the Calabrese as " dressed 
in horrid garments, all of black rags ; and of these rags," 
he goes on, " we found a quantity full of vermin, and they 
in an instant changed their aspect, dressing themselves 
from head to foot, adorning themselves with the spoil, 
and their hats [imagine the high-crowned Calabrese hats] 


with the best silk ribbons, and so they swaggered about 
the city." 

Such poor stragglers as wandered back to Altamura, 
squalid and cadaverous for want of food, had to ask leave 
of the conquerors to enter their own houses. 

After some fifteen days "my lord Cardinal Ruffo pro- 
claimed a general pardon," and invited the Altamurani 
to return. And when they came, he arrested one hundred 
and thirty of them (pardoned though they were to be) for 
"imputed crimes of jacobinism," and sent them to the 
prisons of Melfi and Bari, where they languished for the 
next fourteen months. 

Of his great clemency and mercy Ruffo, to the prayers 
of the citizens who were pinched with famine, finally 
conceded ten mules to turn the mills ; and for the 
service of the mass the priests with difficulty obtained a 
chalice and paten for each church and a few vestments. 

In this way the cardinal with the army of the Santa 
Fedey pillaging always, burning and massacring not seldom, 
passed through Gravina, Venosa, Melfi, Ascoli, Bovino, 
Ariano, and, by way of Avellino and Nola, drew on towards 
Naples, the promised prey of that vast horde of brigands. 

Meanwhile all the province of Salerno had been won 
over to the king again by Ruffo's worthy lieutenants, 
Monsignori Torrusio and Ludovisi, with a Santa Fede 
army of their own, gathered round the convicts put at 
their disposal by the king, who was ready enough to give 
such material even without the asking, but was very careful 
to keep his effective soldiers at Palermo till the fighting 
was done. Altamura had already fallen, and Ferdinand 
was still hesitating to send soldiers, urgently as they were 
demanded by Ruffo. "As to the troops which you ask 
me to send to Calabria, and especially cavalry with the 
brother of the General \i.e. of Acton]," he writes to Ruffo, 
" I would not have omitted to comply instantly and with 
pleasure, especially seeing how well things are going in 
our favour, and the progress of the good Cause, but the 


cursed squadron that has left Brest and nobody knows 
where it is and which, appearing all on a sudden on these 
coasts, may occasion a not indifferent alarm, prevents 
me for the present." 1 

He sent, instead, a banner embroidered by the queen 
and her daughters, which he hoped would attract fresh 
volunteers, and promised to despatch soon a lieutenant- 
colonel at the head of fifty volunteers, all officers who 
had fled from Naples, " and about whom opinion is rather 
pro than contra" and whose commander has orders " not 
to stand upon ceremony," and if he sees one whose 
conduct seems in any way doubtful, " to get rid of him 
immediately." The king evidently prefers the room to 
the company of these fugitive officers. 

At Melfi, on May 29th, Ruffo receives the Turkish 
messenger sent to announce the arrival of a little Turkish 
force at Manfredonia, and about the same time arrived 
Micheroux with Captain Baillie, the Irish commander 
of four hundred and fifty Russian soldiers, the meagre 
support which was all Micheroux had been able to 
obtain after four months of incessant negotiations, and 
the most ample and flattering promises, from the Russian 
commanders at Corfu. 

Another valuable lieutenant of Ruffo in bringing the 
rebellious towns of much of the province of Salerno, the 
whole of Cilento, and part of Basilicata once more under 
royal rule, or "royal anarchy," as Conforti aptly calls it, 
was Gerardo Curci, called Sciarpa, the same who drove 
back Schipani after his foolish rejection of his offer to 
become a republican. He, like Ruffo, and making use 
of the same means, became the head of vast mixed 
masses of armed men, having their strongholds in the 
mountains, who ravaged the country at their will and 
descended upon the little towns whenever they found 

1 DUMAS : / Borboni di Napoli, Documents in appoggio dei 
primi quattro volumi. Napoli, 1862, p. 249. "The General," 
in the royal correspondence, is always Acton. 


themselves in sufficient force. That robbery rather than 
any purely military advantage was their motive is shown 
by the fact that the open country and the small defence- 
less towns were their favourite prey, while important 
centres were neglected. 

Little bands of patriots from Potenza, Avigliano, Tito, 
Ruoti, Picerno, and other places gathered and made 
head against Sciarpa and his robber horde ; but without 
help from the Government they were righting for, their 
heroic resistance was in vain. Coco considers that if the 
Republic had sent them but a hundred regular soldiers 
and one or two capable officers, with ammunition, of 
which no provision was ever made, the union of Sciarpa 
with Rufifo might have been prevented. The leaders 
of these patriots, and in general of the republican move- 
ment in Basilicata, were the brave brothers Michele and 
Girolamo Vaccaro, of Avigliano ; they did their best to 
prevent the entry of Sciarpa into Picerno, and died 
fighting upon the walls. 1 History, as yet at any rate, 
gives us no detailed account of that struggle ; only in 
the death registers of the place there is still the list 
of seventy who were killed "in conflict in this terra of 
Picerno," and buried " without funeral pomp " in the 
Church of San Nicola, May loth, I799. 2 

First on the list is the name of Nicola Caivano, stoned 
to death in the church itself as he stood with the crucifix 
in his hands. Nineteen out of the seventy are women, 
wives and sisters of the men. Colletta says that many 
women fought together with the men at Picerno, and 
though it has lately been the fashion, even among liberal 
writers, to decry and repudiate, in an over-studied attempt 

1 These two brothers Vaccaro appear to have been tried for 
treason in Naples in 1794. See CROCK : Studii Storici, etc,, 
p. 242. Probably they were students at that time. 

2 This list was discovered in the church registers by Signer 
G. Fortunato in 1884, and published by him in / Nafioletani del 

Firenze, 1884, p. 75. 


to be impartial, all the heroism of the republicans, this 
silent yet eloquent list of names, springing to light after 
more than eighty years, justifies Colletta rather than 
the ultra-impartial school who are afraid to allow to 
the patriots even their patriotism. 

Nor is this the only instance of manly courage among 
the women who belonged to the republican side. When 
Sciarpa took the little town of Tito, sacking and burning 
the houses of all who were not of his own party, while 
the inhabitants fled into the open country, he caused to 
be arrested the whole family of Scipio Cafarelli, who had 
been president of the republican municipality, and had 
set up the tree of liberty in the midst of much opposition. 
The head of the family escaped, but was eventually caught 
and died in prison at Matera; his brother, a priest, was 
shot and beaten to death with the butts of muskets in 
Potenza ; the eldest son was taken in hiding, and his 
head cut off and carried about his native place decked 
with ribbons and spattered with mud ; three younger sons, 
under age, were taken away and imprisoned, and two 
daughters shut into a convent. The wife, Francesca de 
Carolis, was tortured to make her cry, " Viva il Re ! " and 
finally, seeing she remained constant, condemned to be 
shot. Taken to the public square and shown the prepara- 
tions for her execution, she was told she had only to 
cry, " Viva il Re ! " and her life would be spared. But 
she only cried aloud as before, " Viva la Repubblica ! " 
and was shot with these words on her lips. 1 

Yet those who thus met a sudden, cruel, and violent 
death were far happier than those of their kin who escaped, 
the more part to drag out persecuted lives in ruin and 

Acts like these were committed in scores of places, 

without trials or pretence of justice, at the mere caprice 

of the brigands or their captains, secure in their impunity, 

nay, certain of their reward. The rewards were bestowed 

1 L. CONFORTI : (1799) La Repubblica Nafioletana, etc., p. 153. 


eventually by the king out of the confiscated property of 
men immeasurably better and greater than he not in 
gratitude, for neither Ferdinand nor Carolina was capable 
of the feeling, but in the spirit of the coward who throws 
food to the dog he is afraid to trust, to keep it in a good 

Here, in the record of the fate of the scattered and 
half- forgotten martyrs of the provinces, the story of 
Libero Serafini finds fitting place, none the less that we 
owe it to Ruffo's two special historians and panegyrists, 
Petromasi and Sacchinelli. 1 

The great army of Rufifo had swarmed down upon 
Avellino on June loth. Certain troops of fusiliers, 
" transported with enthusiasm," were for pressing on imme- 
diately and independently to the taking of the capital, 
and RufTo therefore sent Colonel Scipio Delia Marra to 
bring them to reason. While proceeding on this errand, 
Delia Marra and his companions fell in with a little 
detachment of Calabrese, who were bringing in a prisoner, 
no longer young, bound in their midst. He was called, 
it appeared, Libero Serafini. 

" Moved by natural curiosity, they asked the reason 
why the unfortunate man had been arrested ; indeed, 
they asked the prisoner himself who on earth he was ; 
and everyone was astounded to hear the cool reply : 
' I am the President of the Municipality of Agnone in 
the Province of Abruzzo.' This bold answer drew forth 
another question, which was : Chi viva ? And he, with- 
out changing colour in the least, nor losing his presence 
of mind at seeing himself surrounded by the royal troops, 
replied : Viva la Repubblica Francese e Napoletana ! This 
second answer moved the listeners to such indignation, 
that they would have killed him on the spot, had it 

1 See especially the fine account of this forgotten hero in 
Fortunate' s Napoletani del 1799, quoted already. PETROMASI : 
Storia della Spedizione deir Eminentissimo Cardinale Don 
Fabrizio Ruffo. 


not been that they reflected that possibly the wretched 
man was out of his senses ; and so undoubtedly every 
one would have believed, if facts had not subsequently 
proved the contrary. The ex-President was then con- 
ducted before our most Eminent leader, and being asked 
the same questions, gave those identical answers with 
a mind as unmoved as though he had been surrounded 
by the vain crowd of would-be republicans. The clement 
Cardinal then endeavoured to bring him to a sense of 
his duty by explaining to him that he had fallen into 
the hands of the Royal troops, and that he might save 
himself by professing detestation of the fault he had 
committed. As well speak to the winds ! In vain a 
thousand arguments were put before him ; in vain some 
pretext was sought whereby he might have been exempted 
from the rigour of the law ; in vain, lastly, was the attempt 
to make him pronounce Viva il Re ! notwithstanding the 
promise that with these words alone he might save his 
life. No, he answered ; / have sworn fealty to the 
Neapolitan and French Republic ; and therefore I cannot 
and must not retract the oath I have taken. 

" Seeing thus that clemency was useless towards a 
person whose heart was depraved to such a degree that 
he was completely incapable of recanting, he was immedi- 
ately handed over to the Ministers of Justice, to be judged 
and condemned according to law. So his case was tried 
that same night, he was condemned to lose his life on 
the gallows, and the sentence was carried out the next 
day. And it is further worthy of note, that not even 
the prospect of an infamous death nor the persuasions of 
the assistant priests were of the smallest effect in moving 
him from the mad ideas which possessed him, he being 
content thus to receive the reward of the faith he had 
sworn to the Republic." 

It is indeed worthy of note \ 

Petromasi thus tells the story, "to shew to what a 
pitch of frenzy some persons were carried by the spirit 


of republicanism." Had he been able to see anything 
other than mere madness in the conduct of the man 
whose constancy he records so graphically, we might 
perhaps never have read his story. Sacchinelli records 
the same incident, adding, moreover, that the man had 
been wounded the day before in a fight with a party 
of royalists, "by him called brigands," and that he 
had come to Avellino with the intention, if possible, of 
" disorganising the army." 

Serafini probably did not inform his judges with what 
exact intentions he had left Agnone, far away in Molise 
left his honourable position, wife and sons and daughter, 
and set forth alone and of his own free will towards 
Naples, if haply he might serve the Republic in her last 
days of deadly peril. 

And so he was hanged there, alone in the midst of 
the triumphant enemies of his cause, under the Porta di 
Puglia at Avellino, " content to receive the reward of 
his constancy to the Republic." 

Signor Fortunato, moved at Petromasi's story, and still 
more that the name of this brave man should have found 
no place in the various lists and accounts of the martyrs 
of Italian liberty, has published the extract from the 
register of burials of Santa Maria di Costantinopoli, in 
Avellino, which notes the death and burial of Libero 
Serafini, vir Concepts Arruffo, the husband of Concetta 
Arruffo three words which tell us that he spoke of his 
wife to those who comforted his last hour. 

Serafini was of good family and wealthy ; he studied 
jurisprudence at Naples, became a public notary, and 
returned to his native place, where he married young 
and had three sons and a daughter. In the provincial 
archives at Campobasso are still preserved four and twenty 
volumes of legal documents drawn up by his hand, " His 
memory," wrote Signor Fortunato in 1884, "still lives in 
Agnone, and they record to this day his uprightness, 
his high character, his benevolence, his justice especially 


in those three most difficult months during which he 
was president of the municipality under the republican 

Another " weed," as the queen called such men, to 
be extirpated and annihilated, that she and such as 
she might dwell safely, and her children enjoy "their 
patrimony " ! 


Last days of the Republic Suppressed exultation of the populace 
The Gallo-Ispana Leisurely philanthropy of the Government 
Tardy remedies and attempts at defence Dissolution of the 
republican forces The I3th of June Battle of the Maddalena 
Vigliena Schipani . 

THE discovery of the conspiracy of the Baccher, as 
it was called, disposed the Republic to increasing 
suspicion and to a fitful severity that betrayed the un- 
easiness of the Government, while it failed of its only 
legitimate purpose, that of keeping order. While the 
English were presiding over the arrests that led to the 
executions at Procida, eleven royalists, who had made a 
seditious movement with robbery and murder at Torre 
Annunziata, were condemned as traitors to their country, 
and were shot in the famous Piazza del Mercato, the civic 
guard standing round, and Michele il Pazzo haranguing 
the populace in order that they might draw the right 
moral from the example made before them. But people 
persisted in thinking it a mere piece of policy, and De 
Nicola wrote in his diary, that if one might believe one 
of the advocates for the defence, " they did not deserve 
death, and have suffered it more as an example and a 
terror than for justice." He changed his mind later 
on, and admitted the justice of their sentence, whatever 
its motive. 

At the same time that dangers were thickening and 
becoming more visible round them, the Neapolitans began 
to suspect the withdrawal of the French. Several French 

341 1 6 


regiments marched away northward towards Capua ; all 
the women who had followed the army were ordered to 
leave the city ; the sick and wounded were moved and 
carried away. At the same time the provisional Govern- 
ment was remodelled, and in the new legislative and 
executive councils new names came up ; new energy also, 
but not energy of the only sort that might yet possibly 
have saved the Republic. 

Vincenzo Russo, as we have seen, at once distinguished 
himself by his disinterested and patriotic motion upon 
the official Government salaries ; but De Nicola wrote in 
his diary, after noting Russo's motion : " Meanwhile our 
tremors increase, on all sides the insurgents are advancing 
and the troops of the Republic have been beaten. The 
French do not care, and cannot care, for they are not 
sufficient in numbers to oppose a population of five millions 
who are in insurrection. They say there is a secret treaty 
already concluded with the English and the royalists, and 
that the preliminary symptoms are the departure of 
the women who followed the army, and the departure 
of the wounded. The French who remain will shut 
themselves into the Castles to consign them to the 
English ; the General will retire upon Aversa, and 
the city will remain a prey to the fury of the populace, 
oh what a massacre if God in His divine pity does 
not provide ! " l 

" The French," he notes presently, " are still putting 
ammunition into the Castles, and the news of insurrections 
increase daily " ; and again : " False tidings and true 
mingle together in the most confusing way. I give an 
example. It is certain that Macdonald said to Gennaro 
and Filangieri that he would remove all the troops from 
Naples, adding that the Neapolitans ought to become 
accustomed to defend their own liberty by themselves. 
This is already contrary to the promise given by 
Championnet that the army of Naples would remain here 

* DiariO) etc.) Arch. Stor. Nap., Anno. XXIV., Fasc, 2, p. 109. 


to defend our independence. Now they leave us to our- 
selves, with the English blockading us, and the royalist 
troops drawing near, not to mention the populace ready 
to revolt on the first occasion." There is no doubt, mean- 
while, De Nicola says, that the sick French are on the 
move, the strong are packing up, and the general idea is 
that they are about to march. Five thousand rations were 
ordered for Monday, April 22nd, for French troops who 
were expected to arrive, and a requisition made for four 
thousand horses. 

That the Government were in the secret an entry 
for Sunday, April 2ist, seems to show. Manthone has 
placarded up an invitation to all footmen, coachmen, cooks, 
and other servants out of place, promising them employ- 
ment. " It looks as though he were thinking of reducing 
the number of the malcontents, a thing which the govern- 
ment should have made its business from the beginning ; 
instead, they are taken up about the sword-knots of the 
civic guard, whether they are to be all of gold or of silk ; 
about inscriptions, about the lamps and their colours, 
and about the names of the streets, while they ought to 
be thinking about the tranquillity of the people and of 
their maintenance." 

De Nicola further notes about this time that very few 
valid men come forward to serve in the civic guard, and 
that whereas in the early days of the Republic there were 
uniforms everywhere, now very few were to be seen. 

On the Monday, sure enough, the French began to 
march out of Naples, Macdonald having put up a pro- 
clamation to the effect that he was leaving the castles 
prepared to stand a siege. The Government found this 
language too alarming for the populace, and sent round 
agents early next morning to tear down all the placards 
about the streets, so that this one of Macdonald should 
disappear with the rest a futile precaution which deceived 
no one. Indeed, those who knew most of the situation 
and of what was likely to happen in the immediate future 


were probably the very populace whom the Government 
were perpetually attempting to blind, coax, or terrify- 
Quiet, conservative people of the classes next above them 
were extremely uneasy, noting the signs that appeared 
on the surface, but not being sufficiently in the con- 
fidence of either side to know what was going on out of 
their sight. 

When the English were at Procida the conspirators, in 
their exultation, could not keep quiet. From time to time 
alarming but mysterious placards were found posted up 
in places of popular resort, and these are noted one 
imagines with a trembling hand in the journal of our 
good diarist. One ran thus, 

Quest oggi mangiate forte ; 
Domani chiudete le porte ; 
Martedl conterete i morti, 

i.e. " Eat your fill to-day ; shut your doors to-morrow ; 
on Tuesday you will count the dead." 

A professor of music, coming out of the theatre and 
lighting his lantern, according to a new regulation that 
obliged all foot-passengers to carry lanterns after a certain 
hour of the evening, was addressed with the ominous 
words : " This evening and to-morrow evening this little 
lantern will serve you, and after that it will serve you 
no more." " In fact," adds the diarist with a shudder, 
"we are likely at any moment to find ourselves in the 
midst of massacre and ruin." 

On the tree of liberty before the ex-royal palace about 
this time the following was put up during the night, 

Repubblica Napoletana 

Da Palazzo a Porta Capuana? 

1 Memorie Inedite di una guardia nazionale delta Re-pubblica 
Napoletana (Giuseppe De Lorenzo), Arch. Stor. Nap., Anno 
XXIV., Fasc. 2, p. 255. 


which meant that the Republic no longer extended beyond 
the gates of Naples. 

The Republic, keeping up its policy of maintaining a 
good appearance and hiding unpalatable truths as long 
as possible, capped the proclamations of the commander- 
in-chief by one of its own, with a characteristic preamble, 
boldly giving the lie to all the rumours of the approach 
of the king, of the landing of the English at Pozzuoli 
and in Salerno, of the coming of the army of Ruffo, 
pardons held out to republicans, and so forth. The 
proclamation then called upon the people to " admire 
the wisdom of the great general Macdonald who, with the 
sole object of relieving the people of the great burden 
that the residence of an army inevitably brings with it, 
and of watching over our defence, in order not to let the 
army destined to preserve our liberty become effeminate, 
goes to pitch his camp outside Naples, whence he will 
continually despatch light columns for the safety of the 
city . . ." " So they have given a certain colouring 
to the departure," comments the chronicler, " but the 
French are departing, a thing they have not done from 
any Italian city they have occupied." 

On April 24th Macdonald came back to review the 
troops of the Republic in the Piazza Nazionale, and 
formally announced his withdrawal towards Caserta, 
leaving a French garrison in St. Elmo, and consigning 
Castel dell' Ovo, the Carmine, and Castel Nuovo to the 
patriots, with eight thousand rifles and four cannon, 
declaring that on the first breath of danger he would 
rush to their aid, like the thunder, carrying death to all 
their enemies. 

One can imagine the sinking at heart of the republicans, 
who listened to this martial vaunting, with the English 
men-of-war lying so confidently at Procida week after 
week and the floods of the " counter-revolution " swelling 
and coming on. Their one great hope was now in the 
Gallo-Ispana, the Franco-Spanish fleet that was always 


expected ; this hope it was which lent an excuse to all 
their flagrant political fibbing, and to this hope they 
clung, some of them even at the foot of the scaffold. 

Our diarist, pondering the words of Macdonald, can 
find no consolation in them : " Eight thousand rifles 
and four cannon are but a trifle, and they are absolutely 
nothing when you come to consider that there is no 
powder nor shot in the Castles consigned [to the patriots] ; 
but all in those which are retained [by the French]. 
Meanwhile the patriots are alarmed, the populace in 
a ferment ; rumours of the approach of the Royal 
troops are spreading, and the risings in the kingdom 
become daily more frequent. Such is our unfortunate 
condition." 1 

Another writer, whose account of these things, written 
when all was over, is preserved in manuscript in the 
National Library at Naples, puts this of the departure 
of the French very bitterly: 2 "On the I3th day of 
Fiorile the French troops left for the camp at Caserta, 
and a requisition was made for 300 carts for the 
transport of the belongings of the army which was to 
start for the Cisalpine [Republic], and then the mask 
fell from the robber Heroes of the Great Nation, who, 
after having compromised the Neapolitan Patriots, after 
having beggared them (a proof of which is, that having 
come naked hither, they required 300 carts at their depart- 
ing to transport the booty), cowardly they abandoned 
them to themselves .... On the 9th [of May] the 
French army began their march, and not content with 
carrying off all that they had stolen in this fair land, 
they further took 500 cows, so as to make a little broth 
by the way for their sick." 

Abandoned in this wretched plight, short of food, short 
of ammunition, short of fighting men, without horses for 

1 Diario, etc., for April 24th. 

* EMANUELE PALERMO : Breve Cenno Storico Critico su la 
Repubblica Napoletana, MS., in the National Library, Naples. 


their cavalry, certain that conspiracy encompassed them 
on every side, with their once friends growing cool or 
going over boldly to the enemy, with the English in 
the bay and Ruffo almost at the gates, the patriots did 
not regard their own case as hopeless. Was there not 
the Gallo-Ispanat They pursued their benevolent way, 
brimming with erudition and zeal, preoccupied with the 
national education, with republican functions round the 
tree of liberty in the Piazza Nazionale, the solemn burn- 
ing of royal banners, the reception of lazzari into the 
Sala Patriottica, the public pardoning of rebels, and 
other similar things, all betraying in what a Utopia 
and dreamland they were dwelling, while the reality was 
hid from their eyes. 

The members of the Government could not persuade 
themselves that the populace, if only brought to appreciate 
the advantages of liberty and justice, could possibly desire 
a return to the late condition of things. All their most 
strenuous efforts were therefore directed towards educating 
the popular sense, the popular opinion and conscience, 
whether by pageants devised to this end, by addresses 
in dialect in the public squares or from the pulpits, by 
popular catechisms, or by propitiatory measures to relieve 
them of financial burdens. Persuasion ought to have 
been better than force, and the abolition of the feudal 
system worth all the armies of Ferdinand. 

Colletta attributes their immovable placidity in the face 
of danger to their natural leanings towards a quiet life. 
But, after all, they were right, only they did not realise 
that the work they had begun would take generations, 
aye centuries, for its full fruition, and that the sword, 
unhappily, has also its right place among human things. 
When the Republic had but a month to live and the 
realities of the situation were being forced upon the 
members of the Government, they turned in their anxiety 
to the Marchese De Marco, who had been a minister under 
the royal government, and, asking him "what remedies 


were possibly to be applied to the evil," they received 
the chilling answer that " he knew of none that could 
be of any use in that moment ; and that if Ferdinand 
of Bourbon had contrived to upset his own throne, the 
republicans had done their best to bring the Republic 
to hopeless ruin." * 

Not till May, when Ruffo was already at Altamura 
and Speciale was condemning the republicans of Procida, 
was General Federici despatched from Naples with the 
nucleus of some new legions to be completed in Puglia. 
A small force of cavalry followed Federici under 
Ferdinando Pignatelli, Prince of Strongoli, and General 
Matera; and shortly afterwards yet another little force 
under General Span6 marched in the same direction. 
Schipani was directed to oppose the advance of Sciarpa 
upon Salerno, and General Bassetti was sent out towards 
Capua. Gabriele Manthone, commander-in-chief, remained 
in Naples with about three thousand men, who were 
called the Calabrese legion. They bore as their motto, 
on a black banner, " Vincere, vendicarsi, morire " (i.e. 
Conquer, avenge ourselves, or die), and neither wore 
uniform, nor even had weapons alike. The greater 
number had made their escape from the cities devas- 
tated by Ruffo in Calabria. These were chiefly young 
men of well-to-do families, not soldiers, but, like all 
the Calabrese, first-rate marksmen. They had seen the 
things done in their homes, they knew what was coming, 
and the words upon their banner were indeed the deadly 
earnest of each one. 

The so-called generals of the Republic were generals 
in name only ; some of them were but captains in real 
rank, and scarcely even that in practice and experience. 
Schipani, as we have seen, was but a lieutenant ; Manthone, 

1 B. CROCE: Nel Furore delta Reazione del 1799 Dalle 
Memorie inedite di una Guardia Nazionale della Re^ubblica 
Napoletana (GIUSEPPE DE LORENZO), Arch. Stor. Nap., Anno 
XXIV., Fasc. 2. 


himself a major of artillery, an excellent man and a brave 
and skilful soldier, was no born general, and was perforce 
unequal to his position. 

We know that many writers, General Pepe among them, 
consider that, if instead of breaking up their scanty forces 
and scattering them in all directions, the republicans had 
concentrated their strength in one enterprise and marched 
straight upon RufTo and his brigands, they would almost 
certainly have destroyed the whole expedition, after which 
they would have had leisure, with incalculable added 
prestige, to combat dangers less imminently pressing. 
This would be true if the French had been disposed to 
help. But we have seen that at Naples, far from their 
own centre, the French were never in earnest ; Championnet 
had been lured thither, outside his plans and instructions, 
by the aggression and the tempting flight of Ferdinand. 
Once there, they stayed as long as they found it worth 
while and there was nothing else to do. The first touch 
of disaster in the north carried them back whence they 
had come, leaving the republicans to shift for themselves. 
Considering the immense extent of the royalist conspiracy 
within the city and the disaffection of all the timid, the false, 
the time-serving, it seems certain that the first result of any 
further withdrawal of force from the city would have been 
the instant uprising there of another army of the Holy Faith, 
more terrible even than the one commanded by Ruffo. 
The more fully one bears in mind the complete insolvency 
of the Republic from its beginning, the more difficult it 
is to perceive any moment of its existence when it was 
not foredoomed. It was a making of bricks without straw 
from the first, and the public, standing aloof, expected 
not only a tale of bricks equal to that of the former time, 
but more and better bricks. 

The little columns were routed one after another, and 
forced to retire upon Naples. To speak more correctly, 
they fell to pieces because at sight of the enemy the luke- 
warm, discontented soldiers of the Republic refused to 


fight, and went over to the other side, or dispersed. 1 At 
the end of May the Republic was confined to the city 
itself, the strip of coast as far as Torre Annunziata, and 
Pescara in the Abruzzi, where the gallant Ettore Carafa 
not only held at bay some twelve thousand of the armed 
populace under Pronio, but with his little handful of a 
hundred and forty men harassed them with frequent sorties 
alia repubblicana, as he said. 

Schipani, in the early days of June, remained with a 
meagre force between Castellamare and Torre Annunziata, 
skirmishing day after day, and from dawn till dark, about 
the lower slopes of Vesuvius, at Pompei, at Bosco tre 
Case, and the little places round, but not venturing to 
attack Sciarpa's main force because of his own scanty 
numbers, nor yet formally attacked because those un- 
trained masses of men were cowardly in the open field. 

Guglielmo Pepe, then a lad in his teens and " delirious 
for the Republic," as he says, was fighting under Schipani 
in those days of ever-thickening disaster. They were 
obliged to keep near the coast, where they were supported 
by Caracciolo with his little flotilla of gunboats, and were 
able to keep up their communication with Naples. 

In Naples itself reigned gloom and apprehension. Food 
was scarce because the villages and surrounding country 
were in revolt; there was no money in circulation, and 
most of the citizens were dressed in mourning. The 
wounded who found their way into Naples were without 
assistance until the two noble Carafa sisters set the 
example by going about begging and collecting linen, 
medicaments, and other necessaries for the sufferers. 
Many ladies followed in their steps. In this womanly 
devotion the queen could see nothing admirable, and 
wrote to her daughter : " Mme. Cassano et Mme. Popoli, 
haute (noblesse) et que nous appelions ' Leurs Altesses ' 
vont avec les cheveux coupe's queter, monter dans toutes 

1 G. RODINO : Racconti Storici, etc., Arch. Stor. Nap., VI. i, 
2, 3, 4- 


les maisons pour avoir des secours pour les braves soldats 
qui doivent battre le Tyran, enfin des horreurs." 1 

And now the hordes of Ruffo were in sight. On the 
morning of June I3th the cardinal entered San Giovanni 
a Teduccio, coming down by San Giorgio, and was met 
at the church by the parish priest, who came out bearing 
the Holy Sacrament. Ruffo immediately dismounted and 
received the benediction upon his knees, and recommended 
all the attendant clergy to pray for the successful issue 
of the coming struggle. 

The Sanfedisti, meanwhile, were impatient of delays, 
each man being eager to secure his own full share of 
spoil, and Ruffo found it impossible to keep the un- 
disciplined masses in hand now that their prey was in 
sight. He had been recommended not to attack until the 
English fleet should be in the Gulf; and yet anyone 
who studies the letters that came to him from Palermo in 
June from Acton can perceive that the recommendations 
of the Court were most ambiguous, if not contradictory, 2 
Acton distinctly saying on June 1st that if the king's 
forces can take Naples independently of the allies, 
there will always be less harm done and less expense, 
and less chance, one may read between the lines, of a 
foreign power's advancing some pretension upon Naples. 
In the queen's letters the tiger's claws are displayed and 
retracted with an uncertainty which shows that even she 
might yet have been made to submit and relinquish the 
prey. On the very I4th of June she was writing to Ruffo : 
" I leave it to the wisdom of your Eminence to direct 
everything ; I too wish heartily that massacre and pillage 
may be avoided . . . ." 3 

A new and unexpected factor in the situation was 

1 HELFERT : Fabrizio Ruffo, etc., p. 567. 

* See Correspondence in Arch. Stor. Nap., VIII. 4, p. 649, and 
VIII. i, pp. 71-72. 

Ibid., V, 3, p. 57. 


now the Franco-Spanish fleet, which it was supposed 
might at any moment appear in the Gulf and frustrate 
the whole expedition and the work of the last months, 
now so near completion. Moreover, depredatory hordes 
from all the country round came flocking to increase 
the disorder and the jealousy in the great invading 
army. The only way to keep them together and 
command their slippery obedience was to promise an 
immediate attack. 

By way of keeping up the religious comedy, the 
cardinal resolved to place his advance upon the city 
under special saintly patronage. S. Gennaro, after his 
late complaisance toward the Republic, was for the 
moment under a cloud his aureole somewhat tarnished. 
June 1 3th is sacred to St. Antonio of Padua, a saint who 
enjoyed, it seems, a special measure of Ruffo's devotion ; 
to him accordingly the cardinal decided to commit the 
issues of his undertaking. An altar was set up, mass 
was said, the new saint invoked, blessing given, and 
then the devout army was let loose upon the city. 

The chief attack was by the Ponte della Maddalena, 
the long bridge over the little Sebeto by which one 
enters Naples on the Portici side. A few troops were 
told off to keep check upon St. Elmo and its French 
garrison ; and the Duke of Roccaromana, with the 
cavalry regiment he had raised for the Republic and 
had at the last moment carried over to Ruffo, was to 
prevent any sortie of the French from Capua some- 
what idle precautions, since the French, for any help they 
attempted to give the republicans, might almost as well 
have been at Paris. For the three hundred soldiers 
conceded to Manthone for the purpose of keeping open 
a way for supplies to enter the city, Me'jean always in 
search of money exacted six thousand ducats. 

Panedigrano, with his convict regiment, received the 
order to put himself in Resina, and prevent Schipani from 
effecting a junction with the republicans in the capital. 


2 I 



That day the members of the Government, and all the 
patriots unable, from age or infirmity, to bear arms, 
retired into the Castel Nuovo with many women and 
children. It had been arranged that on the firing of 
three cannon-shots from St. Elmo the people were to 
retire into their houses, and all who belonged to the 
National Guard were immediately to report themselves 
at Castel Nuovo. 

How the day went is soon told and well told by a 
young captain of the guard in his memoirs : 1 " The 
national guard," he writes, " but what am I saying ? that 
little remnant of it that was willing to unite under our 
banner was shut, by order of the Government, into the 
Castel Nuovo, whence the different detachments issued 
forth against the enemy. I, who together with my 
company and with my legion had also entered into 
the Castle, marched out an hour later with my company 
directed to the Ponte della Maddalena, where the enemy 
was already arrived. But, gran Dio ! all was useless, 
the Republic was at an end. We found General Wirtz 
at the head of a small part of the Calabrese Legion and 
of a few troops of the line who were fighting desperately ; 
he had also some fifty men on horseback, but these would 
never enter into action, and in vain the General cried 
* Cavalleria, in avanti ! ' 

"We also entered into action after being drawn up in 
fighting order behind the above-mentioned combatants, 
who, although they fought with the greatest courage, 
were nevertheless obliged by the superior numbers of 
the enemy to beat a retreat. 

"In vain General Wirtz sought to set the example of 
courage to the cowardly cavalry ; he advanced supported 
by the Duke of Montrone and the Marquis Di Maio 

1 Memorie inedite di una Guardia Nazionale della Re^ubblica 
Napoletana (GIUSEPPE DE LORENZO), Arch. Stor. Nap., Anno 
XXIV., Fasc. 2. De Lorenzo, in 1799, was only twenty-one ; 
he was a bank-clerk. 


against the enemy calling on the cavalry to follow, but 
always without effect ; indeed this valour of his was 
the cause of his death ; the poor General was hit in the 
left side by a shell that was well directed at the three, 
and half dead was borne from the battlefield by six 
soldiers, who made a litter for him of their rifles, and 
carried him to the Castel Nuovo where he died in a 
few hours. 

" That sufficed to discourage us all, and to set the cavalry 
flying ; at their example the little handful of infantry 
and the skeleton of my Legion of the national guard 
which till then had obstinately held a foot of ground 
against the enemy, seeing themselves alone, retreated 
as far as the square of the cavalry quarters, not being 
able to resist Ruffo's cavalry which, seeing ours was 
fled, charged us, and had it not been for our two little 
cannon would have massacred us all. The enemy then 
brought up two of their pieces of heavy artillery which 
began to make short work of our position. Our gunners 
lost heart, cut the ropes and fled, and so we all fled too, 
the enemy pursuing us as far as the Castello del Carmine, 
beyond which they would not venture." 

From other accounts we know that it was toward 
evening when General Wirtz was shot, so that the defence 
of the bridge lasted the better part of the whole day. 
Towards evening, moreover, the republicans found them- 
selves suddenly attacked from the rear by the lazzari 
of the Mercato the quarter just behind the Castello 
del Carmine and the unequal struggle became a furious 
massacre, and ended in the flight of the patriots. The 
republicans had been supported by the little fort of 
Vigliena on the sea, and by the gunboats of Caracciolo, 
which wrought some havoc among the enemy. One 
who was on the royalist side writes that the greatest 
damage and the greatest fright were caused by this brisk 
fire, and that so many bombs and large grenades were 
thrown upon the bridge that it was impossible to advance, 


Accordingly the Russians, " accustomed to victory," were 
ordered up with heavy cannon, and poured such a 
constant fire into the gunboats that they were forced to 
retire " in spite of themselves." 1 

The little garrison of Vigliena consisted of a detachment 
of one hundred and fifty of the Calabrese legion, chiefly 
students, under the command of a young man of six-and- 
twenty, Antonio Toscani, of Corigliano, near Cosenza. 2 
Ruffe's crusaders attacked the fort, and the fighting was 
all the fiercer because assailed and assailants were men 
from the same province, and, as in all this story, poverty 
and ignorance were fighting against wealth and culture. 
The repulse was so severe that the assailants had to 
be reinforced by some hundred Russians with artillery. 
A great breach was made, but still the patriots were able 
twice to beat back the onrush of the enemy. The third 
time they were overborne, and fighting hand to hand, 
their numbers dwindling every moment, they were re- 
duced to a little handful in a corner. " It is all over," said 
Bernardo Pontari and Francesco Martelli to their young 
captain ; " we can but die like heroes." Toscani, wounded 
in the head, dragged himself painfully to the place where 
the gunpowder was stored, and, crying, " Viva Dio e la 
Liberta ! " fired his pistol in upon the powder. In the 
awful explosion that followed, some hundreds of the 
assailants perished with that little band of heroes. Of 
the defenders of Vigliena some nine survived, recovered 
from their wounds and lived to hand down the story to 
their grandchildren of the present time. 

Among the hundreds of republicans killed that day 
near the Maddalena was the brave old poet Luigi Serio ; 

1 DURANTE : Diario Storico, p. 75. 

8 PASQUALE TURIELLO : // Fatto di Vigliena. Napoli, 1881. 
L. CONFORTI : La Refiubblica Napoletana e VA narchia Regia, 
etc., p. 125. Turiello and Conforti have been at great pains to 
sift the evidence as to the defence of Vigliena, and obtained many 
particulars from the family of Toscani, and from the descendants, 
of the survivors. 


he was nearly blind, but persuaded his three nephews to 
bring him into the middle of the fight, urging that his 
blindness mattered little where the enemy were so many 
that he was sure to kill some of them. He had suffered 
much from the tyranny of the Bourbon, and cared not to 
survive the Republic. Rodin6, who by his own account 
does not seem to have been a very valiant person, tells 
us that he tried to persuade Serio to remain in Castel 
Nuovo, but the fiery old man indignantly reproved him 
" for wishing to see him a coward." 

Caracciolo kept up his fire far into the night, until 
the enemy retired, and then withdrew into the arsenal 
under the guns of Castel Nuovo. De Simone, another 
naval officer, also kept up the fight even after Ruffo's 
people had entered the city, and retired by the arsenal, 
fighting hand to hand over every inch, until the over- 
whelming numbers drove him to seek refuge in the 
castle. Mazzitelli, covered with wounds, was taken 

That night Schipani received an order to come with 
all speed to the assistance of the patriots in the capital. 
He had with him fifteen hundred men, of whom 
five hundred were hired Dalmatians ; and between 
him and Naples and on his right flank lay the whole 
immense force of Ruffo. He knew his task was hope- 
less. Nevertheless, in the little council of war held that 
night, Pepe, who was one of their number, says that not 
one voice was heard in favour of surrender; all their 
anxiety was how to lay about them with most effect 
before they died. At dawn on the 1 4th they began 
their resolute march through Resina and Portici, where 
the level ground left them the one advantage of being 
able to keep together. In front, among a group of 
officers, was the lad Pepe, and he tells us how Schipani, 
himself of Calabria, said to him with a quiet smile, "In 
arduous undertakings there is always a Calabrese in the 
van," and the boy drew himself up proudly, and saluted, 


with his heart full of gratitude. It was his last salute 
to Schipani. 

As they came down past the royal palace of Portici 
towards the Church of San Giro, their further progress 
along the narrow street (for the present spacious piazza 
did not then exist) was cut off by a battery, and in 
vain Schipani tried to hew a way to right or left. He 
therefore detached the five hundred Dalmatians, with 
orders to make a detour by a side street and take the 
enemy in the rear. They obeyed the order, but when 
they came out upon the main street farther down, they 
cried, " Viva il Re ! " and thus making friends with the 
royalists, they agreed to feign the concerted attack, and 
then, in the metie, to turn their arms against the patriots. 

Schipani had meanwhile drawn up his men in a compact 
square, facing the fire that came not only from the front, 
but from all sides and from the windows above, and 
awaited the counter-attack from below. 

As soon as the feigned disorder appeared among the 
enemy the republicans threw themselves upon their 
opponents, but the treacherous Dalmatians rushed upon 
them with lowered bayonets. Friends and foes knew each 
other no more in the confusion, blood flowed in torrents, 
the battle became a massacre, and the patriots, all but 
a few wounded and prisoners, perished where they stood. 
A very few escaped across the country, Pepe among 
them, only to fall into the hands of the enemy before 
night fell ; and of the prisoners many were massacred 
on the spot. 

Schipani, who had courted death in vain all day, was 
also wounded. He managed to escape to Sorrento, but 
was soon taken by the royalists there, and was carried 
prisoner across the bay to Ischia, which, as we know, 
was in the hands of the English and Sicilians, together 
with Procida and the other islands. 

Near the beautiful Castle of Ischia there is a strip of 
sandy shore backed by low, squalid houses and a church. 



The place is called La Mandra, and there, some five 
weeks later, on July ipth, towards the time of sunset, 
Schipani, with another unfortunate republican officer, 
General Span6, was hanged as a traitor, expiating his 
deficiencies by the ignominious death which has added 
his name to the long list of the martyrs of Italian 


Sack of Naples, and massacre of "jacobins " by the mob Popular 
atrocities The granili Pepe De Lorenzo Official mal- 
treatment and robbery Settembrini's recollections Stree^ 
scenes Arrest of republican ladies Ruffo accused of clemency 
The queen sides with the mob. 

IN the night between June I3th and I4th, or possibly 
on the morning of the I4th, the hordes of Ruffo 
attacked the Castello del Carmine, which seems to 
have been less well prepared to resist than the other 
castles (to which as a fortress it was always far inferior), 
so that a capitulation was agreed upon. " It was con- 
signed to us by a sort of curious capitulation, by Ovvel 
di Borgogna," wrote the cardinal to Acton on the 21st. 1 
But the moment the garrison laid down their arms they 
were massacred indiscriminately by the Calabrese and 
the lazzari? Of all the capitulations agreed to at this 
time, and there were several, every one, except that con- 
cluded by Captain Foote with the garrisons of Castellamare 
and Revigliano (the observance of which he obtained as a 
personal favour at Palermo), was violated by the royalists. 
This of the Carmine is the first on the list, and no one 
survived to remonstrate ; in the other cases, as we shall 
see, the violation was further defended and approved 
by the judges and by the king. Sacchinelli says nothing 
of the terms, but says that the commandant escaped on 
giving himself out as a foreign officer, a royalist, and a 
friend of the cardinal. 3 From this circumstance one may 

1 Arch Stor. Nap., VIII. 4, p. 653. 
8 DE LORENZO : Memorie, etc., p. 258. 
3 SACCHINELLI : Memorie, etc., p. 215. 


guess how it was that the Castle of the Carmine fell a 
comparatively easy prey to the brigands and the populace. 

Sacchinelli goes on to relate that after the battle of 
June 1 3th, and while the desultory and hopeless, but 
obstinate, fighting was being perpetually renewed in the 
days that followed, the mob dragged " a few unhappy 
patriots " before the cardinal at his quarters at the 
Maddalena ; that he " ordered them to be set free, since 
war was only to be made upon the enemy who were 
still fighting in the Castles," and that "scarcely had 
those victims retreated a few paces when they were 
massacred." After that, for a " momentary asylum for 
many other victims who were dragged to the bridge, the 
Cardinal destined the great building of the Granili." 1 

Let us look at pictures of this " momentary asylum " 
by some of those who enjoyed its protection. 

One of these was Pepe, who, after surviving the de- 
struction of Schipani's force at Portici on the I4th, had 
been taken prisoner at Ponticelli the same evening. He 
spent the night with a few companions in a damp coach- 
house, guarded by peasants who were armed with iron- 
tipped staves and bill-hooks. At dawn a company of 
the cardinal's crusaders came with an order to carry 
all the prisoners to the Ponte della Maddalena. What 
with their wounds, hunger, and fatigue, they were too 
much exhausted to rise from the ground. A little bread 
and water were given them, and soon all but the most 
severely wounded were able to start. 

But their peasant captors did not let them go before 
they had stripped them to their shirts ; and when the 
lad Pepe, wounded in the arm, had some difficulty in 
pulling off his boots, one of them proposed to cut off 
his legs by way of hurrying matters. Tied two and two, 
the prisoners had to march barefoot to Naples. None 
of them believed the capital to be in the hands of the 
enemy, but they were soon undeceived. Horrible sights 
1 SACCHINELLI, p. 231. 


met their eyes : men and women of all ages and conditions 
were being dragged barbarously along by a howling mob, 
some half dead, some covered with blood, maltreated 
and insulted, many with no clothing but a torn blood- 
stained shirt, many absolutely naked. The yells of the 
mob were so horrible that it was difficult to believe them 
human beings. They threw stones and every kind of 
foul missile at the prisoners as they went by, threatening 
to tear them to pieces. The prisoners were thrown first 
into a large locale opposite the granili, and here among 
the crowd Pepe recognised many persons well known 
because of their learning or their high birth ; there were 
priests and monks, professors, artisans, officers of every 
rank. Many were wounded and disfigured with blood ; 
many completely naked ; others, whose disguise of priest 
or peasant hung about them in tatters, had been battered 
and bruised in their struggle with the mob. 

In tens and twenties these prisoners were conducted 
across the road, through a great crowd of the frenzied 
populace, to the granili opposite ; and though so short 
the way, not all reached the other side alive. 

Pepe found himself shut into one of those vast chambers 
(used generally for storing wood or grain) together with 
some three hundred others. Here he was drawn by their 
common spirit of enthusiastic patriotism and their com- 
mon suffering into instant close friendship with Vincenzo 
Russo, who had been one of the last to retreat from the 
defence of the bridge, and so retreating had been taken 
prisoner. Here, too, he found the learned Marchese Berio, 
Goethe's friend ; the abate Marino Guarano, professor of 
jurisprudence in the university ; many learned monks 
and other men of letters, and even many lunatics from 
the hospital of the Incurabili, taken together with the 
ardent republican medical students. 

De Lorenzo, whose account of his share in the defence 
of the bridge has already been quoted, was also so un- 
lucky as to fall, after infinite vicissitudes, into the hands 


of the Calabrese, as Ruffo's people are often called, and 
on the 1 4th was taken with his friend, both disguised 
as monks, before the cardinal at the Maddalena. 1 Here, 
he says, they were massacring indiscriminately all the 
prisoners that the mob brought up, and he was lucky among 
them who arrived face to face with the cardinal. Women 
and girls of every condition were there, naked, and, together 
with men old and young, were being despatched without 
mercy by the brigands. There were two carts standing 
there to receive the bodies, and, dead or alive, they were 
immediately thrown into the sea. 

It was with the greatest difficulty that De Lorenzo's 
captors succeeded in bringing him into the cardinal's 
presence ; the brigands declared Ruffo was not giving 
audience then, and said they had been deputed to receive 
the prisoners of State. The two parties began to quarrel, 
and were coming to shots, when an officer of some kind 
came up, and after much parleying was prevailed on to 
take the two monks before the cardinal. When Ruffo 
asked them their business, De Lorenzo sprang forward 
so eagerly to speak in his own and his friend's defence 
that the cardinal, always suspicious, quickly gave him 
with both fists a violent blow in the chest, and sent 
him staggering to a safe distance. In the end Ruffo 
was inclined to let them go; but, seeing that the mob 
was bent on massacring them, ordered them to be shut 
up in one of the temporary prisons near at hand. The 
mob, on seeing that they had lost their prey and that 
the two monks were really officers of the civic guard, 
burst into indescribable fury, biting their fingers and 
crying out, " Ah, dogs ! if we had known you were not 
monks, we would have torn you to pieces ! " So that 
when the two found themselves in prison at last, it was 
an unspeakable relief to know that they were "in the 
power of justice of no matter what kind, and saved from 
the arbitrary fury of a populace which with impunity and 
'DE LORENZO: Memorie, etc., p. 271. 





quite unrestrained was massacring every supposed jacobin, 
and mostly those who, because they were seen to be 
well-to-do and decently dressed, stimulated their greed 
of rapine." 

In this place were more than forty prisoners, whose 
number increased within an hour and a half to more 
than a hundred. The greater part of them were stripped 
naked, at least half were wounded, and many of them 
mortally, so that within the first hour two died there 
where they lay. 

Next morning they heard that Ruffo, afraid they might 
escape from that prison, had ordered them to be taken 
elsewhere. Escorted by a numerous guard under command 
of a Calabrese priest, armed with a sword and two pistols, 
the prisoners were marched forth in the direction of Portici. 
As they went, their guards called upon the populace to 
insult and buffet the prisoners, and before they arrived 
at their destination, less than a couple of miles away, 
they were half dead and half blind with the multiplicity 
of blows and thrusts they had received. The guards 
contrived to rob the prisoners as they went ; one assured 
De Lorenzo that they were all about to be shot, and 
with this pretext took away his boots and socks. 
Every forty paces or so the malicious priest ordered a 
halt, and declared they had come to the place where the 
prisoners were to be shot, and then, after some preliminary 
preparations, during which their hearts beat in an agony 
of anxiety and apprehension, affected to find some obstacle, 
and ordered them to march on. This was repeated four 
or five times, until the manoeuvre had lost its first effect 
upon the prisoners, most of whom began to long for 
death to put an end to their suffering. They were at 
last shut up in some stables at the Due Palazzi, in 
San Giovanni. During that day their number increased 
to three hundred, and they were packed so closely that 
as they lay down at night on the bare ground, the head 
of each was on the body of his next companion. 


Among the prisoners here De Lorenzo mentions one 
young man who had been on guard with his company 
at the Monastery of Montesanto, and after a vigorous 
resistance had capitulated to the attacking party, stipu- 
lating to be allowed to rejoin the republicans in Castel 
Nuovo. But the promise was no sooner given than it 
was violated (as usual), and the poor lad, burned in the 
face by the brigands with a lighted torch, was thrown 
into prison with the rest. Next day, amid a repetition 
of all their former sufferings, the prisoners were marched 
back towards Naples and shut into the granili. 

Many of the prisoners whose friends discovered their 
whereabouts received clothing, bedding, and other comforts ; 
but very many remained half naked and dependent on 
the daily meagre pittance of bread and water. 

De Lorenzo relates how his father found him out, and 
brought him bread, fruit, cheese, and wine, how he could 
touch no food, and gave all away but the wine, for which 
he had a craving, as they had no water. Nevertheless, 
he goes on to tell very naturally and simply how there 
were near him a republican captain and a certain surgeon 
who had both been severely wounded by the mob two 
days before ; the neglected wounds were putrefying, and 
the captain, eyeing the bottle of wine, said, " How much 
good that wine might do my wound ! " and how eventually, 
with rags torn from the shirt of a companion, he used 
little by little all the wine to wash the wounds of these 
two fellow prisoners. 

De Lorenzo's account confirms that of Pepe, who says 
the prisoners were left three whole days without either 
food or water in that hot summer weather ; and he adds 
that a wounded prisoner having died among them, there 
was some consultation as to whether they should eat the 
dead body. It was not till the evening of the fourth day 
that Ruffo had leisure to think of his prisoners, who had 
begun to believe that they were to be starved to death, 
and their first scanty ration of half a loaf of brown bread 


and a piece of cheese was served out with a little water. 
This became their daily allowance during all the time 
they remained in the granili. The guards explained that 
the delay and apparent neglect arose from the general 
confusion, and from there being twenty thousand prisoners 
shut up in the granili} 

" Our existence in that place," writes De Lorenzo, 
" although, fortunately for us, not long, was nevertheless 
the most unhappy that can be imagined. Every hour the 
number of unfortunates increased ; these were brought 
in by the populace after being disfigured and wounded 
so badly that many of them died a few moments after 
their arrival ; and others, whose wounds were dressed 
either badly or too late, remained maimed for life. 

" Our guards were changed every forty-eight hours, and 
each new commandant was inexorably bent on making a 
booty at our expense. This generally happened towards 
evening, when the officer in command, coming in on his 
round of inspection, as a pretended measure of precaution 
examined our clothes and our very socks in search of 
arms ; arms there never were, and instead of these, they 
took away from us all we had in the shape of valuables 
or money, so that we at last abstained from asking money 
of our relatives and thus the greed of our commandants 
was disappointed. One of these nevertheless hit upon 
a plan ; being convinced by his first perquisition that there 
was nothing to be extorted from those poor wretches, 
who had gained too much experience by the robberies 
they had undergone, he planned one of a new kind. He 
pretended to have been informed that a quantity of arms 
were hid in our prison and in all the others of the Granili, 
and that these were concealed in the mattrasses. He 
therefore appeared on the evening of the second and last 
day of his guard, together with six armed soldiers, and 

1 Ruffo himself put them at thirteen hundred ; but the total 
number in the many dungeons and prisons of Naples may well 
have reached twenty thousand. 


four more without rifles, and by blows with a stick and 
threats obliged us all to lie down with our faces to the 
earth. Then, calling out repeatedly, * Rascals, Jacobin 
traitors, I've found you out ! ' he ordered those four 
satellites to carry out of the prison every single thing 
they could find, mattrasses, sheets, pillows, and even the 
clothes of such as happened to be undressed. Arms, I 
am certain, there were none ; and so our mattrasses, as we 
learned, served to give a comfortable sleep to the guard, 
while we, as we had done the first nights, were obliged 
to sleep on the bare earth, which, having never been in- 
habited, pricked more than any thorns ; and the next 
day very early the Signor Comandante loaded up every- 
thing on two carts, and directed his booty, sufficiently 
fat, to his own house." 

After some three weeks, when the poor prisoners had 
once more been furnished with bedding and other comforts 
by their friends, a runaway horse came rushing along 
one evening past the prison. It was enough to undo 
them. In a moment all the troops guarding the granili 
flew to arms, and gave out that the prisoners were in revolt 
on the approach of a body of patriots who were coming 
to their rescue. The sentinels were doubled, and a guard 
of Calabrese was stationed outside the doors ready to 
fire in upon the helpless prisoners at their slightest 
movement. In the middle gangway was placed a loaded 
cannon with the match lighted. Under all this protection 
the commandant came in, obliged the prisoners to lie 
down on their faces, and once more every single thing 
in the prison was carried off. 

In this "momentary asylum," suffering every kind of 
discomfort and every spite the cruel ingenuity of their 
guards could inflict, the prisoners remained over six 
weeks, and were then transferred first on board a sloop 
of war in the Gulf, and eventually to the prison of the 

Pepe describes the undaunted spirit of many of those 


republicans : how there were among them four poets 
who improvised songs to cheer their companions ; how 
Professor Filippo Guidi gave lectures in mathematics 
two hours a day to a large audience ; how Vincenzo 
Russo was foremost in their discussions on moral and 
political themes ; and also, alas ! how the jailers used 
to come in at midnight and call out one and another, 
who passed from among them to the scaffold or the 

Who that has read it can forget Luigi Settembrini's 
account of his father's reminiscences of those days, when 
friends came in to chat, and the little boy Luigi sat 
listening near his mother's work-table ? ! 

" Who can describe," his father used to say, " the fury 
of the mob, and the terror at the cry of Viva il Re / . . . 
My friend Gaspare Giglio from Calabria, who was with 
the Cardinal, sent to tell me to come and take refuge 
with him. I went out ; the streets were full of scattered 
dead bodies, stripped naked, and white as white, for they 
were of gentlemen. In the Via di Porto suddenly a 
whole wave of the populace is upon me ; I feel them 
snatch off the false queue of tow that I had put on, crying 
' a Jacobin ! ' 2 They seize me, they strip me, they leave 
me not even my shirt, they bind me, they prick me 
with bayonets, and drag me towards the marina to shoot 
me. When we get there one, as he gives me a blow, 

1 L. SETTEMBRINI : Ricordanze della mia Vita. Napoli, 1879, 
2 vols. Vol. I., pp. 3, 4. 

3 A great many young men who had more or less served the 
Republic had followed the new fashion of cutting the hair short, 
and were sadly put to it to conceal the fact when the royalists 
came in. The mob was not long in finding them out ; witness 
this popular verse: 

Vuoi conoscere il Giacobino ? 
E tu tiragli il codzno, 
Se la coda ti viene in mano, 
Questo e vero Repubblicano. 

See Diario Na'poletano, p. 192. 


says in a low voice * Don't be afraid ; I am sent by 
Don Gasparl ; ' and then to the crowd : ' to the bridge, 
to the bridge ! We'll shoot him before the Cardinal ! ' " 

And so he is dragged to the granili. Here before 
the entrance stands a Calabrese sentinel with a great 
blue net on his head and a rose in his hand. When he 
sees the prisoner he says in his dialect : " Poor lad ! art 
half dead ; smell this rose ; refresh thyself! " The flower 
is thrust into his face, and the helpless prisoner feels 
his nose, and as it were his very brain, pierced by an 
enormous pin. He is pushed into one of those vast 
chambers among some three hundred other prisoners, 
many of whom are dying, and flings himself down 
upon the ground. A fellow-prisoner brings him water 
to wash his wounds, and a few rags to bind them. 

"After two days came my father with my sister 
Carmela, who when she saw me across the iron bars 
ran, wrung my hand hard, and fainted away." The 
father runs for water, and asks help of Major Baccher, 
who is walking up and down in front of the prison. 1 
The officer comes. "Oh! it is nothing," he says; "I'll 
make her come to," and he cuts the girl twice across 
the face with a whip. The poor father took her in his 
arms and carried her away, and came no more to visit 
his son. 

The scenes in the streets during those days of horror 
have been described for us by eye-witnesses. The 
Republic, after June I3th, was soon reduced to the 
two Castles, Nuovo and Dell' Ovo, San Martino (the 
Certosa just below St. Elmo), the Royal Palace, and 
Pizzofalcone. As the last scattered bands of the 
patriots retreated from Toledo and the adjoining vicoli, 
the hordes of Ruffo, the robber bands of Sciarpa, 
Panedigrano, De Cesari, and other freebooting leaders, 
and masses of "royalists" from far and near swarmed 

1 This Major Baccher was brother to the two who had just been 
shot by the republicans in Castel Nuovo, 


into the city and gave themselves up to an atrocious 
orgy of pillage and massacre, with circumstances and 
details of unimaginable horror and sickening cruelty. 

De Nicola, the writer of the Diario Napoletano, a 
most timorous, prudent, and strictly conservative person, 
has noted down what he heard and saw from his 
balconies and from his house-top in those days, together 
with all the rumours, true and false, brought to his ears 
by his acquaintance, and originating as a rule in the 
populace. He looks out towards evening on the 1 5th, 
while his house vibrates to the incessant firing from all 
the castles, and wishes he knew whether the cardinal 
has really come, because " up to the present we have 
seen nothing but hordes, so to speak, of insurgents, 
marching at hap-hapzard, and without order, without 
drums, without form of drilled troops. . . . The story 
of these times of ours will not be believed," he writes. 
" Within six months, two popular anarchies, two invasions, 
one may say, one of the French, the other of insurgents, 
a double sack, two fierce wars within the city. The 
first lasted nearly three days and was kept up solely 
by the populace against a well-ordered and experienced 
French army, supported from within by the jacobin 
party, afterwards called the patriots ; for the second, 
this is the third day that the struggle is still most 
vigorous . . . this war being maintained with energy 
and resolution solely by the patriotic party against 
swarms of insurgents who are the only ones that keep 
up the firing, because the Neapolitan populace has 
taken arms for the sole motive of joining in the sack 
of the houses of the jacobins ; and among these God 
knows how many quiet citizens have suffered the same 
fate. . . . God forgive those who have placed us in such 
cruel and tearful circumstances ! " 

The robbery and violence went on day after day, 
and though we hear of repeated proclamations by Ruffo 
forbidding all arbitrary action on the part of the royalists, 


neither his own hordes nor the populace ever paid the 
smallest heed to any such order. On the I7th De Nicola 
notes : " The whole of this day patriots have been carried 
past in the middle of Calabrese, some in only a shirt, 
some in dressing-gowns, some in drawers only ; they 
say they were all taken up in the vineyard [i.e. at San 
Martino]. Who knows, however, how many are arrested 
without being jacobins ! It is certain that the Calabrese do 
not know which they are, and depend on the populace who 
point them out ; and who knows how many will be victims 
either of mistakes or of malice ; all the more so in that 
the sequel of such arrests is always robbery." De Nicola 
saw enough without venturing into the streets. De 
Lorenzo and his friend, vainly trying to make their way 
to Castel Nuovo, saw infinitely worse. 

"... We met swarms of brigands and armed lazzaroni, 
all intent upon a remorseless sacking of those houses 
which, from their being well furnished, the people judged 
to belong to jacobin patriots, and perhaps they were 
persons the most indifferent [i.e. politically], but who 
happened to be well-dressed, and they were led in arrest 
by the lazzaroni, after having been stripped completely 
naked and so wounded as to be unrecognisable. Bodies 
lay here and there, most of them mutilated of some 
member; women, matrons, girls of every condition were 
borne by the populace naked, in procession, and that 
because they were supposed to belong to the family of 
some jacobin ; heads and mutilated limbs were scattered 
in the street corners . . ." etc. etc. 

As fast as the two young men in their monastic disguise 
escaped from one scene of horror they were confronted 
by another. Their way led them to Largo Mercatello 
(now Piazza Dante), and here they were brought up short. 
Let De Lorenzo speak : 

"Great God! What did we behold in that piazza! 
The tree of liberty was already torn up and thrown down 
by the Calabrese and the populace, a great number of 


whom were performing acts of private necessity upon it 
and around it without the smallest regard to a number 
of women who were present at the spectacle. 

" At the same time the most cruel massacre was going 
on, which we, in spite of ourselves, were forced to see 
with our own eyes. 

" A great number of victims, pretended to be jacobins, 
kept arriving every moment, and were all shot, one after 
another, at the foot of the tree. The air resounded with 
the cries of these unhappy people who were led like 
oxen to the slaughter house ; their cries ceased each time 
that a number of badly aimed shots came to interrupt 
the sound, and left those miserable victims some dead, 
some with only a broken arm or other wound. This 
done, those butchers, not caring whether they were alive 
or dead, proceeded to cut off their heads, part of which 
were borne in procession on the ends of long poles, and 
the others served them to play with, rolling them along 
the ground like balls." 

Escaping by a hair's breadth from this dreadful scene, 
they reached the Largo della Trinita Maggiore just in 
time to witness the death of their common friend, a poor 
gentleman who had been insane for some months, and 
had that morning insisted on going out with a tricolour 
cockade in his hat. He was massacred on the steps of 
the church. In the piazza were bands of armed men, 
soldiers, and Calabrese brigands, who sat eating upon 
the dead bodies that lay around. 

These same scenes are described by Rodin6, who was 
also taken prisoner at this time, and so beaten and 
buffetted and spit upon that he could only long for death. 
"Thou that criedst Death to the Tyrant," howled the 
mob in his fainting ears, " Come now, infamous jacobin, 
if thou wilt not have two bullets in thy forehead, cry 
Long live the tyrant!" and as he remained dumb, in 
the obstinate hope that he might indeed be shot, 
he heard the women dissuading the men from further 


persecution, saying the Jacobins were all possessed by the 
devil, and were therefore incapable of pronouncing "the 
sacred names of king and tyrant." Another cry proffered 
by the mob to their prisoners was, " Muore Giacobbe ! " 
(" Death to Jacob ! " ), the imagined patron of the Jacobins. 1 

The cynical cardinal spread a report that the republicans 
had planned to hang the entire populace of lazzari, pre- 
serving only their infants, who were to be brought up 
without religion, and that for this purpose the Jacobins 
had prepared thousands of ropes, which would be found 
in their houses. From this plot he now gave out that 
St. Antonio had saved the populace. An immense number 
of prints were distributed, representing St. Antonio with 
a bundle of cords in his hand. 2 These things served further 
to inflame the credulous and savage masses, while they 
gave their actions that tincture of religion and cloak of 
zeal in a holy cause for which the king and queen and 
the Church, in so far as it was their tool, were responsible. 

The search for these cords formed one of the many 
pretexts under which the houses were broken into and 
sacked, and the patriots, real or pretended, wounded, killed, 
or dragged to prison. But in truth the brigands themselves 
and the lazzari, though glad to be assured of eventual 
absolution, were not under any real delusion as to their 
own motives ; possibly few of them ever had been. This 
little rhyme of theirs, in which one seems to see the 
cunning grin of the speaker, expresses their common 
sentiment, as cynical as Ruffo's own : 

Chi tiene jtari 1 e vino 

Ha da esser giacobbino ! 

Whoever has got bread and wine [i.e. anything worth stealing], 
He must be a jacobine ! 

The mob gave out that every patriot bore, imprinted 
on the thigh, the figure of the tree of liberty, and with 

1 RODIN6 : Racconti Storici, etc, Arch. Stor. Nap., VI. 
8 B. CROCE : Studii Storici, etc., p. 95. 


this pretext the hunted victims of their caprice and greed 
were stripped, men and women alike, and submitted to 
indecent outrages. As late as three weeks after the 
battle of the Maddalena the sacking and the massacre 
were still going on ; and De Nicola recounts that on 
July ist the mob burned the bodies of two Jacobins, and 
were seen to eat the roasted flesh, the very boys offering 
it one to another ! Ladies who had shown any public 
sentiment or mere humanity, such as the Duchesses of 
Cassano and Popoli, Luisa Sanfelice, Eleonora Pimentel, 
the Duchess of Andria, and many more, were hunted out 
of their houses, or sought everywhere by the mob ; those 
that were found, after being stripped and scarcely covered 
with a sheet, or made to represent the " naked figure 
of Liberty or Parthenopaea," were driven and dragged 
through the streets by the yelling mob, and thrown into 
loathsome dungeons. The Duchess of Popoli, though she 
did not escape exile eventually, seems to have eluded the 
arrest by the mob to which her sister was victim. Ricciardi, 
speaking of a young French lady living in Naples, to 
whom Vincenzo Russo was engaged to be married, says 
that it was in her house that Maria Antonia Carafa, 
Duchess of Popoli, was hidden for many weeks, while 
the mob was hunting down the Jacobins ; and " it was 
truly a miracle that she was not arrested and maltreated 
in the street, especially as she had her hair cut alia 
Repubblicana> so that, beautiful and majestic as she was, 
you would have called her the image of the Goddess of 
Liberty." 1 Dumas tells us that Emanuela Sanfelice, the 
elder daughter of the unhappy Luisa, used to recall how her 
mother, in the last days of the Republic, came to see her in 
the convent where she had been placed to be brought up, 
and wrung her hands, and repeated desperately to her, 
" I am lost ! I am lost ! " The lazzari and the Calabrese 
found her hiding in a garret of her house in the Largo 
della Carita in Toledo. 

1 G. RICCIARDI: Memorie Autografe d? un ribelle. 



The lowest estimate of the numbers massacred by 
the mob during the sack of Naples, which lasted from 
June 1 4th to the 2Oth, was arrested for a few days at 
the time of the capitulation of the castles, and after the 
arrival of the English was resumed and pursued with 
redoubled fury until July 8th, is given by royalist writers 
as more than a thousand. We may believe that they 
were many more. 

Ruffo, writing to Acton in those days, complaining of 
his own terrible situation, helpless as he was to govern 
the hordes he had led to Naples, says that they have 
already brought to him at the bridge thirteen hundred 
Jacobins, whom he is keeping in the granili\ that 
they have shot at least fifty before his eyes without 
his being able to prevent it, and wounded at least two 
hundred who have been dragged naked thither. He adds 
that the Calabrese, seeing his horror, have consoled him 
by saying that the dead were really master-scoundrels 
(capi di briccont)) and that the wounded were "decided 
enemies of the human race " ; that the populace, in fact, 
knew them well. " I hope it may be true," he adds, 
" and so I quiet myself somewhat." 1 

As for these "scoundrels, and enemies of the human 
race," we have seen of what sort they were ; and Ruffo 
must have felt the flimsiness of the hope with which 
he tried to salve his futile remorse. That he felt and 
showed horror and indignation may well be true, since 
we read in the Diario for July 2nd : "In Naples they 
[the Calabrese and the lazzari] are once more going about 
arresting those whom they suspect, and what makes it 
more horrible is that they massacre them as they catch 
them. . . . Those whom they do not kill they carry 
straight on board the English ships, no longer to the 
bridge, because they complain of the clemency of Ruffo, and 
perhaps they suspect him also." 

1 B. MARESCA : // Cavalier e Antonio Micheroux, etc., Arch. 
Stor. Nap. XIX. 3, p. 505, 


[To face p. 274. 


The queen, who, as we shall see, had brought Nelson 
down to her level, sided, as usual, with the lowest of the 
populace, and wrote to Ruffo on June igth : " I hope, 
from the prudence of your Eminence, that you will 
punish no one who has punished an enemy of the State." l 
As late as July 7th she had no scruple in writing to 
Lady Hamilton : " It is my misfortune to know thoroughly 
the nobility and all classes of Neapolitans, and I shall 
always say the same : that only the bourgeois-artisans 
and the populace are loyal and attached [to the throne], 
the latter are given to occasional licence, but their 
sentiments are good." 2 On the 29th of the same month 
she wrote to her daughter : " The Archbishop of Naples 
has committed horrors, the canons, bishops, clergy, monks, 
nobility, in fact all, with the sole exception of the 
populace." 3 The infinite horrors committed by the mob 
did not count with Maria Carolina, because not directed 
against herself. And although they were committed in 
her name, she did not even care to repudiate them. While 
she was still at Naples, on December 2ist, 1798, and 
thought herself to be in danger, she wrote to the Emperor 
that the populace were " licentious and cowardly, and 
in a hurry to begin the sack lest the French should be 
before them " ; 4 but it is perhaps the only instance of the 
queen's admitting a fault in the populace, on whom, as 
they proved themselves more and more barbarous, ferocious, 
and brutal, even to repeated acts of cannibalism, she and 
the king bestowed an ever-increasing share of their royal 
trust and affection. 

1 Arch. Stor. Nap. XIX. 4, p. 660. 

* R. PALUMBO : Maria Carolina, Carteggio, etc.) p. 202. 
3 HELFERT : Fabrizio Ruffo, etc., p. 584. 
/;/., p. 518. 


Ruffo's situation ; pressure on all sides ; anxiety The capitulation 
of the castles Sentiments of Ruffo, Micheroux, the Court 
Colletta in Castel Nuovo Nelson arrives Struggle between 
Nelson and Ruffo Nelson won't hear of any terms The 
Hamiltons Nelson's ignorance The natural view of the 
capitulation The patriots are not to be moved from their 
attitude Bocquet Ruffo's efforts to solve the problem Lady 
Hamilton Sudden change of attitude by Nelson Contemporary 
evidence The republicans evacuate the castles under the 
impression that the capitulation is being carried out. 


UFFO had come thus far surprised at his own 

had practically given Naples into his hands, he was full 
of timorous anxieties and uneasy suspicions, ready to fly 
at sounds of distant tumult, not at all sure of his own 
people, and half expecting to be despatched for a Jacobin 
if he betrayed too much anxiety that the terror and 
carnage in the city should cease. His fears were justified 
by his situation and by the manifold dilemma it presented. 
Here he was, nominal and responsible leader of tens 
of thousands of absolutely undisciplined peasants, robbers, 
and malefactors, accustomed during the last four months 
to a roving life, to killing their fellow countrymen upon 
the flimsiest pretext, to stealing whatever they chose, 
and spoiling wherever they passed ; kept together by 
mere interest, aware of their own power, and under no fear 
of punishment, but rather looking to be rewarded when 
all was done. In the city prevailed, day after day, the 
most heartrending anarchy, as we have seen. St. Elmo, 

a 7 6 


in the hands of the French, had definite power for offence 
and destruction. The republicans in the other castles 
and more or less fortified positions, desperate as their 
case was, were yet a very formidable obstacle to his 
further progress and to the establishment of any kind 
of order ; moreover, they held many illustrious and notable 
royalist prisoners, whose lives were in perpetual peril. To 
crown all, it was possible, and, as far as Ruffo knew, 
most probable, that the Franco-Spanish fleet might arrive 
at any moment in the bay and undo all that had been 

Thus pressed on all sides, Ruffo desired nothing so 
much as to come to terms with the republicans, so as to 
avoid the alternative of taking their strongholds by storm 
one by one, with infinite further bloodshed on both sides, 
and the destruction of the castles and the royal palace. 
The necessity of taking St. Elmo first of all does not 
seem to have preoccupied the cardinal ; he had probably 
some reason to suppose that the French commandant 
would not prove intractable if once the patriots were 
disposed of. But the days passed, the cannonading on 
both sides was incessant, and though there had been 
several short suspensions of hostilities with a view to a 
possible arrangement, the negotiations repeatedly came 
to nothing, and the situation remained unchanged ; while 
the tension in the mind of Ruffo and also of Captain 
Foote, then commanding the small British force in the 
bay, increased every hour. What if the Franco-Spanish 
fleet should come before the royalists could man the 
castles? What if the example set at Vigliena should 
be followed by the other republicans, and all the hostages 
and prisoners be blown into the air together with the 
patriots, to say nothing of the palace and the castles? 

The cardinal tried threats, always with a view to 
avoiding further bloodshed and violence, of which by 
this time he was sincerely tired. He sent Micheroux 
to the commandant of Castel Nuovo on the 1 6th to 


warn him that " further resistance was useless and might 
cost the entire garrison their lives, since his batteries 
were within a very short distance of the Castle, and the 
breach once made, no power on earth could prevent the 
infuriated populace from taking it by assault and making 
a horrible massacre of every single person in the Castle 
and in the adjoining Royal Palace." 

The commandant asked two days for deliberation ; 
two hours were granted, and again nothing came of 
the attempt. On the afternoon of the i?th General 
Oronzo Massa, commanding in Castel Nuovo, demanded 
a suspension of hostilities, in order that the republicans 
might consult with MeJ'ean, the French commandant of 
St. Elmo. According to Sacchinelli, the negotiations 
fell through this time in consequence of the exorbitant 
pretensions of the French colonel, who, "on the pretext 
that the fortresses had not been regularly besieged, but 
only blockaded, demanded sums of money so excessive 
that even if the Cardinal had been willing to pay them, 
he had not whence to take them." l 

Ruffo was persuaded that the sole object of the 
republicans was to gain time, in the hope of the arrival 
of the Franco-Spanish fleet to their rescue. He accord- 
ingly repeated his threat to General Massa, declaring that 
the armistice would be at an end in twenty-four hours, 
and that he would then permit the populace to assault 
the castle. The twenty-four hours brought the contending 
parties to the morning of the ipth. On that morning 
Micheroux wrote to Ruffo that he had just been informed 
that General Massa desired an escort to St. Elmo, in 
order to obtain leave from the French commandant to 
surrender the castles. Micheroux wished therefore to 
know from the cardinal within what general limits a 
capitulation might be agreed upon, and under whose 
signatures it was to be concluded, further informing 
the cardinal that the negotiations might occupy from 
1 SACCHINELLI, p. 241. 


four to five hours, and that in the meantime he had 
given orders to all the batteries, from the Carmine as 
far as Chiaja, to suspend hostilities until further orders. 

Ruffo, nettled at this assumption of authority on the 
part of Micheroux (who seems to have been at this 
moment a sort of supernumerary plenipotentiary of the 
king), replied that after Micheroux had taken steps 
so prejudicial to the cause, it was useless to ask his 
advice, as the rebels were only gaining time to make a 
better defence. In fact, he foresaw that this conquest 
of the capital would not run smooth, and was glad to 
vent a little ill-humour and irritation on the imperturb- 
able Micheroux, responsible for no one but the very 
well-behaved and efficient Russians. 

The state of Ruffe's mind is apparent from a letter he 
wrote to Acton while the treaty was pending : l " I am so 
oppressed and exhausted \affollato e distrutto\" he wrote, 
" that I do not see how I can support life \reggere in vita}, 
if this state of things last another three days. The being 
obliged to govern, or rather to hold down, an immense 
populace accustomed to the most complete anarchy ; the 
having to rule a score of uneducated and insubordinate 
light troops, all intent on carrying on sack, massacre 
and violence, is so terrible and complicated a thing that 
it is absolutely beyond my strength." And again : " The 
immense danger of the city must not be forgotten, can- 
nonaded incessantly when they fire from St. Elmo. 
Meanwhile the populace and many convicts who are 
come to fight for the king, and eighty confounded Turks 
are robbing and sacking with impunity. All the gentry 
are taking flight into the country. Our better sort of 
soldiers are guarding their houses against the sack, but 
in vain. Often the pretext is jacobinism, that is the 
name they put upon it, but in truth it is the lust of robbery 
that often creates jacobin proprietors. I found the same 
thing in smaller towns. To the cry of Viva il Re ! they 
. Stor. XIX. 3, p. 505. 


dare anything with impunity. It seems that the con- 
sideration of these things might make us clement towards 
the rascals who are shut up in the castles, and com- 
passionate with the many refugees and prisoners who 
are locked in with them." Ruffo wrote this on the 2ist, 
when the capitulation was in progress. 1 

On the 1 9th the articles were finally agreed upon, 
signed by the commandants of the two castles and by 
Ruffo and the Russian and Turkish plenipotentiaries; 
on the 2 ist they were ratified by Mejean ; on the 22nd 
they were sent to Captain Foote, who returned them, 
signed, on the 23rd. 

The treaty of capitulation consisted of ten articles, 
which provided principally that the castles were to be 
handed over to the allied troops. The persons composing 
the garrisons were to take their choice of being carried 
with their property under safe-conduct to Toulon, or 
of remaining unmolested in the city. The garrisons 
were to retain the castles until the vessels should be 
ready to set sail for Toulon. They were to be allowed 
the honours of war, and all the hostages and prisoners 
of State whom they held in the castles were to be set 
free immediately upon the signing of the articles. Four 
royalist hostages were sent into St. Elmo as a guarantee 
for the observance of the treaty, and were to be detained 
until the republicans should have arrived at Toulon. 

The terms were probably drawn up by Micheroux, who, 
during all the months he had spent in the royal service 
in Puglia, had constantly advocated a lenient policy 
towards the republicans. He never hesitated to make 
quite clear to Ruffo how completely he disapproved 
of his system of stirring up and letting loose the worst 
passions of the people, and abandoning the most sacred 
prerogatives of justice into the hands of a mob of brutal 
and ignorant peasants. He had foreseen what the results 
might be of the arrival of the Sanfedisti at Naples, and 
1 Arch. Stor. XIX. 3, p. 507. 


had urged Ruffo towards the end of May to send a herald 
to Naples, with an offer of terms of surrender which he 
then drew up for Ruffo's approval terms as indulgent 
towards the republicans as those which were eventually 
granted. This plan he again urged a week later. 1 

Ruffo, always jealous of the interference of Micheroux, 
had replied drily that if his excellency had analogous 
instructions from the Court, he was welcome to carry 
out his plan, with which the cardinal professed himself 
delighted with the proviso, however, that these were 
but his own personal sentiments, and that he did not 
see that he, Ruffo, was authorised to promise such 

The cardinal, in fact, knew very well how contrary 
such a proceeding would be to the wishes repeatedly 
expressed by the king, and more especially the queen, 
during the last months ; and no doubt he hoped he 
might yet be able to dispense with terms of any kind 
by sheer force of numbers. His coarser moral fibre and 
less sensitive imagination prevented his realising, as 
Micheroux did, the full nature of the weapons he was 
using and the inevitable consequences. The sequel 
proved Micheroux to be in the right, and Ruffo, sick 
to death of slaughter and violence, came to welcome 
any measure that promised a return of peace and order. 
The objections and prohibitions of the Court at Palermo 
faded into insignificance before the dreadful realities and 
imminent perils of the situation. 

The king and queen from the outset had never 
entertained for one moment the notion of pardon. It 
may be said that the meaning of this word was not in 
the royal dictionary. Witness the following complicated 
and most characteristic royal sentiment, written while 
Ruffo was before Naples : 2 "As a Christian I pardon 
everybody ; but as he whom God has placed in my 

1 Arch. Stor. XIX. 2, p. 274, et seq. 
8 DUMAS, IV., p. 253. 


position, I must be a rigorous avenger of the offences 
committed against Him, and of the harm done to the 
State and to so many poor unfortunates " only, of course, 
on the royalist side. 

Nevertheless, clear as are the intentions and real 
sentiments of the king, judging from his letters alone, 
there is no great reason to think that Ferdinand, safe 
in Sicily and busy with his new country house and 
his hunting and fishing, while his vicar did all the 
disagreeable work, would have felt very deeply indignant 
at the fact or at the terms of the capitulation which gave 
him back his kingdom with so little further trouble. 
Ferdinand hated to be bothered. " Your dear Father," 
the queen had written at the end of January to the 
empress, 1 "whether from religion or resignation, keeps 
well and is content, he has taken a pretty little country 
house, builds and gardens, in the evenings goes to the 
theatre or the masquerade, is cheerful, and I admire him. 
Naples, as far as he is concerned, might be the land of the 
Hottentots \Naples est pour lui comme les Hottentots], he 
does not give it another thought." Religion and resigna- 
tion had of course nothing to do with it ; Ferdinand only 
wanted to enjoy himself and not be frightened. The 
dreadful fright he had had made him vindictive when his 
supposed enemies were in his power ; but had not the 
queen and Acton perpetually worked upon that " very 
proper sense of danger " which Sir Arthur Paget wittily 
attributed to him, it is easy to believe that at this time 
Ferdinand might have been led to acquiesce in the 

The queen, however, who lived pen in hand, and never 
lost an opportunity of expressing her feelings on paper, 
was far more fiercely implacable than the king. At 
the same time her letters cannot be said to carry all the 
authority of those of Ferdinand, and in fact she often 
concludes her most violent expressions of opinion with 
1 HELFERT : Fab. Ruffo, p. 530. 


a submission of all she has said to Ruffo's superior 
judgment. At the same time RufTo knew whose counsels 
would prevail as long as the queen was at Palermo. 

But even in the queen's letters the general idea is 
of banishment, of a complete " purgation " of the realm 
" of a few thousands who will not add much to the 
force of France " i.e. by being exiled thither. " We 
must hunt down, destroy, annihilate, and transport the 
evil growth that poisons the rest," she had written in 

" I cannot change my principle," she wrote again in 
May ; " the population will not suffer for a few hundreds 
the less of infected persons ; as for gaps among the nobles, 
we can create new ones, . . . but the branded, proved 
traitors all go for ever from the country they have 
betrayed, men and women without remorse. ... I have 
wished to express my sentiments from which I shall never 
deviate." In the same letter she gives a curious reason 
for her opinion that extreme rigour must be used namely, 
that the republicans are " not guilty of the treason of 
having given allegiance to a sovereign not their own, but 
of subversion of all the principles of Religion, duty, and 
gratitude," wherefore she considers that clemency would be 
taken by them for mere weakness, and the throne would 
not have one instant of safety or tranquillity. Still more 
explicitly she wrote on May 23rd : " The king, as a Chris- 
tian and a Father can and ought to pardon his infamous, 
rascally and most ungrateful subjects and do them good, 
but he must not make a compact or armistice with them 
which would have an air of fear." And again, in the same 
strain, in a letter of June I4th, which must have reached 
Ruffo at the very time that the capitulation was in pro- 
gress : " I long ardently to hear that Naples is taken, and 
negotiations entered into with St. Elmo and its French 
Commandant, but no treaty with our rebel subjects. The 
king in his clemency will pardon them, diminish their 
punishments of his goodness, but never capitulate nor 


treat with criminal rebels who are at their last gasp, and 
even if they wished cannot do any harm, being like mice 
in a trap. If it is found to be for the good of the State, 
I would pardon them, but not treat with such low and de- 
spicable scoundrels. Such is my opinion, which I submit 
like all the others to your lights and experience . . . J>1 

Here the queen again submits her opinion to Ruffo's 
judgment and knowledge, while she underrates the power 
of the rebels to do harm, unless by harm she merely 
understood, as is indeed likely enough, harm to the 
throne. Moreover, even pardon must be offered, unless 
the castles were to be assaulted and the garrisons taken 
out by force. 

The republicans, meanwhile, had been prepared for less 
advantageous terms, as may be seen in Colletta's auto- 
biography. General Massa, he says, when the proposals 
for a treaty were being considered, was asked by the 
representatives of the Government in Castel Nuovo to 
report upon the condition of the defences. Massa replied 
frankly that, were he the assailant, he could reduce the 
castle in two hours. The majority of that mixed garrison 
were completely demoralised, and could think of nothing 
but saving themselves ; but the real republicans were for 
fighting to the last, that their ruin might be complete. 

Pietro Colletta, then a very young artillery officer, 
was one of the garrison. In spite of the difference in 
their age and standing, it was to him that General 
Massa turned for support in his efforts to persuade the 
republicans to capitulate. Colletta became, as he says, 

1 DUMAS, IV., p. 46. From all which letters the feelings of the 
queen are evident enough. But it is useless to search them for 
logical reasoning or clear instructions. How curious the argument, 
for instance, that the republicans are to be punished, not for 
treason, but for subversion of religion and ingratitude ; the king, 
meanwhile, as a Christian ought to pardon, but is to lay aside 
his Christian character in order to punish men for subversion of 
religion ! 


the orator, Massa the supporter of terms of peace. The 
difficulties were great, and the disputants nearly came 
to blows among themselves ; but Massa prevailed, and 
was deputed to negotiate. 

As he went out he said to Colletta : " You see that 
I advocated peace, and that now I am going to arrange 
the treaty. In the abject condition to which we are 
reduced I think it impossible that the lives of all can 
be saved. The enemy will demand a few victims, and 
I shall grant them as a condition of peace, provided 
that I be the first. A few of us will lose ; all the rest 
will be saved. I prefer the lives of any two citizens 
to my own." 

While the vessels were being prepared for the embarka- 
tion of the republicans, it appears that the prisoners and 
hostages whom they held were released. The four hostages 
for the guarantee of the treaty of capitulation were sent 
into St. Elmo, and a great number of persons who did 
not intend embarking for Toulon left the castles and 
went into the city. On the 24th De Nicola noted in 
his diary : " The departure of the patriots is certain, 
and to-night the Palace will be evacuated ; now they 
are only employed in selling their remaining property." 

Towards evening on the 24th upwards of a score of 
white sails appeared off the point of Posilipo. Those in 
the castles who had been for prolonging resistance, 
thinking the long-desired and long-expected Gallo-Spanish 
fleet was in sight, began reproaching the peace party for 
their precipitation in coming to terms with the enemy. 
They were soon undeceived ; it was the English fleet 
under Nelson which, late in the afternoon, anchored 
in the bay. 

By the morning of the 25th it seems that some of 
the patriots encamped under San Martino, included by 
Ruffo in the terms of the capitulation, 1 left their position 

1 NICOLAS: Despatches, III. Appendix, p. 481. Ruffo to 
Captain Foote. 


and dispersed to their homes ; certain it is that the 
temporary shedding which had sheltered them there 
was taken down that day by the French. 1 

Meanwhile a new element had come to disturb the 
peaceful course of events. Before the English ships had 
cast anchor, an English boat reached the shore of the 
Maddalena bearing a letter to Ruffo, written by Sir 
William Hamilton on board the Foudroyant, June 24th, 
at five o'clock in the afternoon. 

In this letter the British Minister informed the cardinal 
that Lord Nelson had just received from Captain Foote 
a copy of the capitulation his eminence had thought 
fit to make with the castles, that Nelson entirely 
disapproved of the capitulation, and was determined 
not to remain neutral with the force under his command. 
Further, that Nelson had sent Captains Troubridge and 
Ball to explain his sentiments to the cardinal, who, he 
hoped, would be ready to act in concert with him next 
day at dawn. 2 

Ruffo, believing that a personal interview would be 
the best means of setting matters clearly before Nelson, 
embarked in the English boat and went on board the 
Foudroyant that same evening. Here he was received 
by Nelson in company with Sir William Hamilton and 
his wife. The conversation was carried on in French, 
and Ruffo, giving a detailed account of the circumstances 
of the taking of Naples, explained the reasons which 
had led him and the allied powers into making and 
signing the treaty of capitulation. And now he found 
that the matter was more serious than he had imagined, 
and that even when it was explained to him that the 
treaty was an accomplished fact, Nelson still persisted 
in his utter refusal to acknowledge its validity. 

" Kings don't treat with their rebel subjects," said 
Hamilton, and Nelson agreed. 

1 SACCHINELLI, p. 252. Diario, Arch. Stor. XXIV. 3, p. 213. 
1 SACCHINELLI, p. 248. 


" Even if it be well not to treat," Ruffb replied, " when 
once a treaty is made, they are obliged to observe it " ; 
but he found he was speaking to deaf ears. 

Nelson, completely ignorant of the situation, saturated 
with the ideas of the Court, with the two conscienceless 
Hamiltons at his elbow, completely fallen as he was 
under the spells and deceits of the queen and of the 
beautiful Emma, her wily agent, was already most deeply 
prejudiced against Ruffo, and in company with the queen 
and the sanfedisti saw nothing but Jacobinism and treason 
in the sense and humanity of the cardinal ; and where 
the king, the queen, and Acton, not from policy nor from 
humanity, but from fear, might have come to give way 
and let the treaty pass, Nelson knew no policy but his 
own rough-and-ready opinion his humanity had nothing 
to say to rebels, and with him fear was of course out 
of the question. 

The cruel tiger-instincts of the cowards crouching at 
Palermo, sheltered behind the ample skirts of the British 
fleet, behind the borrowed strength and recklessness of 
their great ally, were now able to claim full play. 

Ruffo at last said that he would consult the other 
representatives of the allied powers and take their opinion, 
and so the interview closed that evening. Ruffo lost no 
time in consulting Micheroux and the Russian and Turkish 
commanders. They were unanimous in indignantly re- 
pudiating any infraction of a treaty already concluded, 
which they further declared " useful \ necessary and honour- 
able to the arms of the King of the two Sicilies and of 
his powerful allies the King of Great Britain, the Emperor 
of all the Russias and the sublime Porte, because without 
further blood-shed that treaty put an end to the deadly 
civil and national war, and facilitated the expulsion of the 
common foreign enemy from the kingdom " 

It seems strange that the British admiral could not 
enter into these sentiments, and could continue, then 
and always, to call the treaty infamous, as Nelson did A 


His amazing blindness to the real proportions of things 
at Naples can only be accounted for by the extraordinary 
influence now so long exerted upon him by the queen, 
working through and around his two master-passions, 
his mortal personal hatred of the French and his un- 
measured admiration and love for Lady Hamilton two 
master-passions indeed that left room for little else in 
a mind kept narrow by ignorance and vanity. No one 
supposes that he deliberately sacrificed the patriots to 
the caprice of his mistress, or that he consciously laid 
under her feet one particle of his own or his country's 
honour. But he had become one in heart and soul with 
his most unworthy friends at Palermo, and was absolutely 
incapable of criticism, or of seeing and judging things 
from any point of view but theirs, his own temper the 
while inclining him to the utmost severity. 

Ruffo found himself brought up against a wall. 

On the 25th Nelson, brushing aside the protest of the 
allies with the mere remark that he would " always keep 
in view the honour of his Majesty the Emperor of all 
the Russias, as well as that of the King his own 
sovereign," l sent Ruffo a " Declaration " by the hands of 
Captains Troubridge and Ball, to be handed in to the 
rebels in the two castles : " Rear- Admiral Lord Nelson, 
K.B., Commander of His Britannic Majesty's Fleet in 
the Bay of Naples, acquaints the rebellious subjects of 
His Sicilian Majesty in the Castles of Uovo and Nuovo 
that he will not permit them to embark or quit those 
places. They must surrender themselves to His Majesty's 
royal mercy. 2 

Ruffo would send in no such paper, and on being asked 
by Troubridge whether, if Nelson broke the armistice, 

1 Diaries and Correspondence of the Rt. Hon. George Rose, 
Containing Original Letters of the most Distinguished Statesmen 
of his Day, edited by the Rev. Leveson Vernon Harcourt 2 vols 
R. Bentley, 1860, I., p. 237. 

' Despatches, III., pp. 386, 392. 


he would help him in his attack on the castles, he replied 
shortly and clearly that he would assist neither with 
men nor guns ; and further wrote to Nelson to say " that 
if he would not recognise the treaty of capitulation of 
the castles of Naples, into which, among the other con- 
tracting parties, an English officer had solemnly entered 
in the name of the King of Great Britain, the sole respon- 
sibility rested with him ; and that if the execution of 
such treaty were prevented, he, the Cardinal, would restore 
the enemy to the condition in which they were before the 
signing of the treaty ; and finally he would withdraw 
his troops from the positions they had latterly occupied, 
and would entrench himself with all his army, leaving the 
English to conquer the enemy with their own forces." l 

After a morning spent in fruitless discussion and much 
going to and fro, Ruffo went once more on board the 
Foudroyant. A long and stormy interview followed, in 
which Nelson " used every argument " to convince Ruffo 
that the capitulation was annulled by the arrival of the 
British fleet. The cardinal was in nowise to be per- 
suaded. After two hours' discussion, obstinate on both 
sides, Nelson drew up his final opinion in writing and 
gave it to the cardinal : " Rear- Admiral Lord Nelson, 
who arrived in the Bay of Naples on the 24th June with 
the British Fleet, found a Treaty entered into with the 
Rebels, which he is of opinion ought not to be carried 
into execution without the approbation of His Sicilian 

This opinion gave a somewhat different aspect to the 
matter, and if Ruffo and the other parties to the treaty 
had regarded it as a question still in any part open, 
they might have agreed to await the decision from 
Palermo. But they held the treaty binding, and Ruffo, 
foreseeing greater difficulties and dreading the consequences 
of delay, resolved to try another expedient. He wrote 
a letter to General Massa, the commandant of Castel 
1 SACCHINELLI, p. 254. 



Nuovo, to say that, "although he and the representatives 
of the Allies held the treaty of the capitulation of the 
Castles to be sacred and inviolable, nevertheless the 
Rear-Admiral of the British Squadron would not recognise 
it ; and as it was within the option of the garrisons to 
avail themselves of article 5 of the treaty, as the patriots 
of the hill of San Martino had done, who had all left by 
land, so he sent them this information, in order that on 
consideration that the English had command of the sea, 
the garrisons might take the resolution that best pleased 
them." J 

But the republicans had no faith whatever in Ruffo, 
and saw here nothing but a trap. From the outset 
of the negotiations their greatest anxiety had been to 
secure the signature of the English commander as a 
guarantee of the solidity of the capitulation. Massa 
accordingly sent the following reply : 

"We have given your letter that interpretation which 
it deserved. Staunch, however, to our duty, we shall 
religiously observe the articles of the treaty, persuaded 
that a similar obligation must bind all the parties who 
have solemnly intervened to contract it. For the rest 
we shall not allow ourselves to be either surprised or 
intimidated, and we shall resume a hostile attitude if 
it happens that you drive us by force so to do. Mean- 
while, as our capitulation was dictated by the Commandant 

1 SACCHINELLI, p. 252. That this asserted departure of the 
patriots of San Martino was only partly, if at all, true is shown 
by an entry in the Diario for June 27th : " A quantity of carriages 
and cars [canestre] have come down from St. Elmo, which were 
going to be embarked. . . . Many others of them have been arrested 
and carried to the Bridge, among whom is, I hear, Don Giorgio 
Pigliacelli who was Minister of Justice under the pseudo-Republic." 
[Note the change : lately our friend wrote of the ex-queen ; now 
we have the pseudo- Republic !] So that if the patriots of San 
Martino did take advantage of the capitulation, it is evident 
that for many of them this ambiguous "going away by land" 
only led them into the arms of the enemy. Pigliacelli was hanged 


of St. Elmo, you will be so good as to arrange at 
once an escort to accompany our envoy to that fortress, 
to consult with the French Commandant, and give you 
eventually a more precise reply." 

Whether any consultation took place or not with the 
French commander there is at present no clear evidence 
to show. 

Sacchinelli glides over the break here, after his crafty 
fashion, leaving the reader to complete the episode as 
best he may. But Sacchinelli is not the only actor or 
spectator in those scenes who professes to give us a 
record of what happened. On August 1 5th of that year, 
within two months after the arrival of Nelson at Naples, 
one of the French lieutenants who had served under 
Me" jean in St. Elmo published in France a Historical 
Memoir of all tfo Events, political and military, which 
took place in Naples from the departure of the French 
army until the surrender of Fort St. Elmo} This 
memoir, written by Lieutenant Bocquet at Marseilles, 
was signed by fourteen of his brother officers of the 
2/th mezza-brigata light infantry, five of whom were 
captains. Bocquet gives the text of the capitulation in 
full, with a preamble which, it now appears by the 
Compendia of Micheroux, was added by Me"jean to 
the original draft. If General Massa had come, or sent 
an envoy, on the 25th, with proposals for setting the 
treaty aside, and if, further, Mejean and his council 
of war had agreed to these proposals, and to the 
acceptance, therefore, of Ruffe's suggestion that the 
republicans should all quietly abandon the castles and 
walk into the city, full as it was of their triumphant 
enemies, it is incredible that Bocquet should ignore it. 
Micheroux, in his very clear and orderly account, makes 
no allusion to any such proposal ; if he knew of it, he 
can but have regarded it as a good-natured but short- 

1 CONFORTI : La Repubblica Napoletana e /' Anarchia Regia 
Cap. IV. and Cap. VI., p. 131. 


sighted subterfuge on Ruffo's part, on a par with his 
ignorance of official technicality and correctness. 

In spite, however, of the very decided reply of General 
Massa, Ruffb determined to give the republicans another 
chance of accepting his offer. About half an hour before 
sunset a herald with a trumpet announced " the surrender 
of the Castles Nuovo and dell' Uovo agreed upon with 
the commander of St. Elmo, and the public were warned 
not to molest either the persons or the property of all 
those who should be about to issue from the Castles and 
their neighbourhood, not even with words, on pain of 
being shot." l 

But although this announcement calmed the public 
apprehension of a renewal of hostilities, and was received 
with joy and celebrated by an illumination in the town, 
it had no effect whatever upon the situation between 
Ruffo and the republicans. 

To add to Ruffo's agitation and anxiety, he now 
perceived that powerful mischief was brewing underhand 
against his authority, supported most evidently by an 
authority greater than his on board one of the vessels of 
the British fleet. A number of capi-realisti, or royalist 
leaders, were going about the city, followed by a mob of 
armed lazzari, arresting whom they chose, and carrying their 
victims to the sea and so to Procida, thus avoiding the 
chance of their being saved by the cardinal. Wherever they 
found Ruffo's edict of the 1 5th, forbidding the molestation 
of any citizen not found actually fighting against the 
royal arms, on pain of death, and commanding respect 
for the white flag, they tore it down and began to murmur 

1 Diario for June 25th, Arch. Stor. Nap., XXIV. 3, pp. 212, 213. 
This "surrender" evidently alludes to the original capitulation. 
On the early morning following the arrival of the English fleet, 
De Nicola says, " Now we may hope for certain that the capitulation 
will be carried out." Later in the day he speaks of the rumours 
to the contrary, and of the delay in the publication of the terms. 
At last in the evening he notes their publication by a herald, and 
the general satisfaction in consequence. 


loudly, declaring that the cardinal must be a Jacobin 
and that these measures had been only for the protection 
of Jacobins. 1 These capt-lassaari t Sacchinelli says, were 
set on by the English. In the light of this assertion it is 
interesting to compare with his account Lady Hamilton's 
letter of July ipth to Mr. Greville : 2 

" The Queen is not come. She sent me as her Deputy ; 
for I am very popular, speak the Neapolitan language, 
and [am] considered, with Sir William, the friend of the 
people. . . . We arrived before the King 14 days, and 
I had privately seen all the Loyal party, and having 
the head of the Lazerony an old friend, he came in the 
night of our arrival, and told me he had 90 thousand 
Lazeronis ready, at the holding up of his finger, with . . . 3 
with arms. Lord Nelson, to whom I enterpreted, got a 
large supply of arms for the rest, and they were deposited 
with this man. In the meantime, the 4 . . . were waiting 
in orders. The bombs we sent into St. Elmo were re- 
turned, and the citty in confusion. I sent for Hispali, 5 
the Head of the Lazeroni, and told him, in great con- 
fidence, that the King wou'd be soon at Naples, and that 
all we required of him was to keep the citty quiet for 
ten days from that moment. We give him onely one 
hundred of our marine troops. These brave men kept 
all the town in order. . . ." 

The fact is that Lady Hamilton's and Nelson's 
" Lazerony " came to blows in the streets with Ruffo's 
Sanfedisti, and the " order " they kept so bravely was a 
renewal of the arrests and the sack of the days before 
the armistice. 

1 SACCHINELLI, p. 254. 

2 JOHN CORDY JEAFFRESON : Lady Hamilton and Lord Nelson, 
Vol. II., pp. 109, no. 

3 Gap in Mr. Jeaffreson's copy. 

4 Ibid. 

5 This is an impossible name, whether so written by Lady 
Hamilton or mistaken by the copyist. 


At daybreak on the 26th 1 Nelson sent in to the castles 
on his own account the " Declaration " which Ruffo had 
declined to send, but said Nelson could send if he chose ; 8 
and Ruffo, aware that the declaration had been sent in, 
now clung to the faint hope that the republicans, seeing 
their case desperate, might possibly agree to surrender 
unconditionally, and thus relieve him and the allies of 
all further responsibility. At the same time the cardinal 
sent in a note, signed by himself and the Russian com- 
mander, warning the garrisons that the troops (hitherto 
guarding the castles against the danger of an assault 
during the armistice) would now retire to their original 

This sudden withdrawal of the troops from about the 
castles caused instantly the utmost terror in the city, 
under the apprehension that the armistice was at an end 
and a general bombardment about to begin, so that in 
a few hours thousands of persons left Naples. 3 

" Great has been the agitation and great the movement 
this morning in Naples," wrote De Nicola. " It is rumoured 
that the troops of His Majesty are insisting absolutely on 
the evacuation of the Castles by eleven o'clock, that the 
Jacobins refuse, and that all is being prepared for an 
assault upon St. Elmo. This has caused a number of 
people to leave the city, lest they should again find 
themselves in the midst of the firing from St. Elmo." 4 

Rumours were circulating as to there being mines under 
the castles and the palace, which added infinitely to the 
general alarm ; that this was not unfounded, the Compendia 
now reveals to us : " The most desperate in Castel Nuovo," 
writes Micheroux in his prtcis of what occurred during 
those few momentous days, "had torn up the last step 
over the powder-magazine in order to be able, in the 

1 Compendia in Arch. Stor. Nap., XXIV. 4, p. 460 
* Despatches, III., p. 386. 
8 Compendia, p. 460. 
4 Diario for June 26th. 


last extremity, to throw in a match ; and we have since 
learned that Manthone himself, grown less violent than 
the rest, had mounted on permanent guard there to 
prevent the execution of such a horrible design." 1 

These things show that the idea of unconditional sur- 
render was never at any time entertained by the patriots ; 
no offer of Ruffo's, no explanation of the views of the 
British admiral, no threats, had power to move them from 
their position as parties to the signed treaty, for the 
due execution of which they were waiting. In this 
position was their only hope, and they did wisely in not 
abandoning it. 

On this same morning of the 26th, contradictory 
rumours reached Naples of military action at Capua. De 
Nicola notes the news of the taking of Capua by the 
royalists, with great slaughter, news which he rectifies 
next day, reporting only a sortie of the garrison. Ruffo, 
meanwhile, heard that the Jacobins and French in Capua, 
reinforced by the desperate fugitives from Naples, had 
attacked the royalist troops, defeated them, taken all the 
artillery and powder, and were marching on Caserta. He 
wrote this news to Nelson, pointing out how necessary it 
was to bring matters in Naples to some conclusion, and 
to disembark troops for that purpose and for the defence 
of the city. " I consign to your Excellency the disposition 
of everything," he wrote in conclusion, " and your orders 
can be given to the Captain General the Duke of Salandra, 
but the assistance must be immediate." 2 Ruffo now 
resigned himself to Nelson's violent policy, it seems, under 
the apprehension that delay might cause still greater 
disasters ; he withdrew his troops, and apparently expected 
hostilities to begin again. 

A further source of pressure and disquiet were the 
hostages in St. Elmo, who wrote that they were in 

1 Compendia, p. 458. 

9 F. P. BADHAM : Nelson at Naples, p. 21, notes. 


imminent danger of being hanged because of the delay 
in executing the treaty. 1 

And now occurred that curious and sudden change in 
Nelson's attitude which no historical documents have as 
yet been sufficient perfectly to explain, while those that 
gradually come to light serve more and more to confirm 
the belief that, somewhere, treachery was resorted to. 

Certain it is that by ten o'clock on the morning of 
the 26th Micheroux received a letter from the cardinal 
to say that "as Lord Nelson had consented to carry 
out \porre ad effetto\ the Capitulation, I was to replace 
the Russian troops in the posts they had abandoned. 
In proof of this his Eminence sent me urgently the 
accompanying documents by Lord Nelson * for the safety 
of the garrisons, but as these trusted in my simple word, 
I had no occasion to make use of them." 3 

The letter which the cardinal had received was the 
following, in French, written early that morning by 
Hamilton : 

" Lord Nelson begs me to assure your Eminence that 
he is resolved to do nothing which can break the 
armistice which your Eminence has accorded to the 
Castles of Naples." 

This letter was brought by Captains Troubridge and 
Ball, who either wrote or dictated the following declaration 
in Italian : 

"Captains Troubridge and Ball have authority on the 
part of Lord Nelson to declare to his Eminence that 
his Lordship will not oppose the embarkation of the 
rebels and of the people who compose the garrisons of 
the Castles Nuovo and dell' Ovo " 4 

1 F. P. BADHAM: Nelson at Naples, p. 21, notes. 

As this Compendia is the private note of Micheroux for the 
memorial he wrote to Acton, the original documents, or copies 
of them, naturally went with the complete memorial, and no 
duplicates were found with the original memoranda. 

8 Compendia, p. 460. 

4 Facsimile given by Sacchinelli at the end of his book. 


Troubridge, says Sacchinelli, 1 declined to sign this 
paper, saying that their credentials only authorised them 
to treat by word of mouth on military matters, and not 
by writing on matters of diplomacy. 

The two documents which the cardinal sent to 
Micheroux, but which Micheroux himself says he did 
not show to the republicans because they were satisfied 
with his simple word, seem evidently to have been 
Hamilton's letter and the unsigned paper brought by the 
two captains. Sacchinelli here also is inexact, and the in- 
exactitude serves his own side as usual. The facsimile 
given at the end of his book does not correspond with 
his version of it in the text. The facsimile goes no 
further than to say, as we have seen, " that his Lordship 
will not oppose the embarkation of the rebels, etc." ; while 
Sacchinelli in his text, professing to give the same 
document, puts it, " Rear- Admiral Nelson will not prevent 
\non impedisce i.e. literally, does not prevent] the carrying 
out of the capitulation of the Castles Nuovo and delF Uovo" 
while expressly saying that the lithograph at the end of 
his book is a facsimile of this paper. It is impossible 
to believe that if Sacchinelli had the originals of two 
distinct papers he would not have chosen for reproduction 
the one which gave the stronger support to his cause, 
Sacchinelli's object throughout being to clear Ruffo and 
the Bourbon king (from whom he received a pension) 
from blame in the matter of the castles. 

After noting that Troubridge would not sign the paper, 
he proceeds thus : 

" The Cardinal, although he suspected there might be 
here some treachery [mala fede\ not wishing to wrangle 
\contrastare\ with those two Captains, took no further 
measure beyond deputing the Minister Micheroux to 

1 SACCHINELLI, pp. 255, 256. In fact, the signature by Troubridge 
of a paper declaring his own authority from Nelson could have 
had no meaning ; the only valid signature, of course, would 
have been Nelson's or possibly Hamilton's. 


accompany those two Captains to the Castles to arrange 
with the republican commanders the execution of the 
articles agreed upon. . . . 

"After an hour or two Micheroux reported to the 
Cardinal that, thanks to God, all had been arranged by 
common consent. 

" The English themselves carried out that treaty which 
at first they would not recognise." 

Sacchinelli makes no attempt to explain why Ruffo did 
not wish " to wrangle with those two Captains." Seeing 
how equivocal were the terms both of Sir W. Hamilton's 
letter and of the unsigned message the captains presented, 
nothing could have been more natural, and indeed 
imperatively necessary, than immediate discussion and 
insistence on more precise orders. Sacchinelli admits 
that the cardinal suspected some trick, but glides on 
as though that were a trifle, merely alleging Ruffe's 
reluctance to discuss with the two officers. This is such 
a glaringly flimsy artifice that the simplest reader is 
brought up short, and, like the cardinal, suspects bad faith. 

Micheroux saw the two documents, but he received, 
besides, a letter from Ruffo declaring that Nelson had 
"consented to carry out tlie capitulation" as far as our 
evidence goes, an arbitrary and exaggerated rendering of 
the purport of the two shifty documents he had received. 
Micheroux, therefore, had some excuse for acting without 
suspicion, his own note showing that he acted rather on 
the cardinal's letter than on the two documents enclosed 
in it documents, whatever they were, which the patriots 
did not even see, so that neither could any suspicion of 
bad faith reasonably enter their minds. 1 

The result was that the patriots who had chosen exile 
and a safe conduct to Toulon were all embarked that day, 
with their effects, on board the transports, which had been 
partly prepared for the purpose. Of the evacuation of 
Castel dell' Ovo we have the formal report of the officer 
1 Compendia , p. 460. 


who took possession in the name of the King of the 
Two Sicilies. 1 Ninety-five chose to embark, and thirty- 
four to return to their homes in the town, which latter 
step was to be effected under cover of night. The evacua- 
tion of Castel Nuovo seems to have been more precipitate, 2 
although there is some evidence that the Russians, at 
any rate, yielded the honours of war to the garrison, as 
they went out by the side of the arsenal, while the English 
came in from the other side to take possession. 3 

So that it appears that while Micheroux and the 
republicans, on the one side, were actually carrying out 
in all good faith the capitulation, the English gave no 
honours of war and took possession of the castles. Those 
who had chosen to remain were detained in the castles 4 ; 
those who embarked, as is notorious, were never suffered 
to sail, and very early in the morning of the 28th the 
transports were brought under the guns of the castles, 
and of the English ships, and made fast. 

The question, as yet unsolved, is here, who played the 
trick which resulted in the evacuation of the castles ? and 
of the chief actors Nelson, the Hamiltons, Ruffo, and 
Micheroux how many were privy to the cheat? 

1 SACCHINELLI, p. 257. 

2 See the letter of Albanese, SACCHINELLI, p. 262. Pepe speaks 
of the garrisons being "hurried and driven " down to the ships; 
but he was shut up in the granili at the time, so that his evidence 
cannot weigh against that of men who were actually of the garrison. 
See MARESCA, Arch. Stor. Nap., XIX. 3, p. 527. 

3 F. P. BADHAM : Nelson at Naples, p. 43. 

4 Arch. Stor., XIX. 3, p. 526. 


Who played the trick ? Hamilton ; his letters and despatch- 
Nelson ; his account ; incoherent ; possible construction ; his 
attitude of mind towards the republicans ; his ferocity 
He is dupe of the queen and Lady Hamilton The Court 
policy ; its stupidity Ruffo ; was he deceived ? Flaw in 
his case The queen's ignorance of character Racioppi's 

MICHEROUX, it appears, acted in good faith ; 
but what of the other three ? 

Whatever the precise arrangement was, and whatever 
share each party had in it, it appears evident from the 
correspondence that passed between Naples and Palermo 
that the idea originated with the Hamiltons. Hamilton, 
in fact, wrote to Acton l on June 27th : 

" Your Excellency will have seen by my last letter that 
the opinions of the Cardinal and Lord Nelson by no 
means agree. However, after good reflection, Lord Nelson 
authorised me to write to his Eminence yesterday 2 
morning early, to certify to him that he would do 
nothing to break the armistice which his Eminence had 
thought proper to conclude with the rebels shut up in the 
Castles Nuovo and Dell' Uovo and that his Lordship was 
ready to give him every assistance of which the fleet 

1 DUMAS, IV., pp. 87-89, et seq. 

1 This letter must have been written on the 26th, and it should 
run here this morning. Dumas may have misunderstood or 
misread the word in English, and have fitted the date to it, or 
mistaken the date by accident. But there is no doubt as to when 
the letter was written, as he speaks of the rebels as embarking 
"this evening " />. the 26th. 



placed under his orders was capable, and which his 
Eminence might think necessary for the good service of 
his Sicilian Majesty. That produced the best possible 
effect. Naples had been upside down in the apprehension 
that Lord Nelson might break the armistice ; now all 
is calm. . . . 

"It has been necessary for me to interpose between 
the Cardinal and Lord Nelson, or else all would have 
been lost from the first day, and the Cardinal has written 
to thank me, as well as Lady Hamilton . . . however, 
now we act in perfect accord with the Cardinal, for all 
that we always think and feel exactly as we did when 
we arrived here in regard to the treaty concluded by 
his Eminence. If one can't do exactly what one wishes, 
one must act for the best ; and that is what Lord 
Nelson has done ; I hope therefore that the result will 
be approved by their Sicilian Majesties." 

And again on the 28th Hamilton writes to Acton : 

" Lord Nelson, concluding that his Sicilian Majesty has 
totally disapproved of all that the Cardinal has done in 
contradiction to his instructions as regards the rebels of 
the Castles, and those rebels further being on board 
of 12 or 14 transports . . . Lord Nelson has believed 
himself sufficiently authorised to seize the transports and 
have them anchored in the middle of the British squadron, 
where they will remain at the disposal of his Majesty." 

Dumas here unfortunately omits something, and 
resumes : l 

"... Matters could not have been going worse for 
their Sicilian Majesties than they were going before 
this resolution was taken. In our mind this [resolution] 
was most necessary for the decorum of their Majesties. 
I have reason to believe that we have Cirillo and 

1 It looks as though the passage omitted by Dumas in quoting 
this letter might give the missing clue, and make it clear what 
exact resolution was taken, left a mystery by the letter as it 


all the greatest traitors on board the transports and 
that the coup will have been totally unexpected, as will 
be the arrival here of their Majesties ..." 

There is nothing to show in this letter, as Dumas gives 
it, exactly who it was by whom the coup was totally unex- 
pected by the republicans certainly; whether also by Rufifo 
is not clear, but there is room for such an interpretation. 
That Hamilton was completely prejudiced against Rufifo, 
and disliked and mistrusted him to the full as much as 
Nelson did (if indeed he was not himself the well-spring 
of Nelson's sentiments in this as in other matters), an 
extract from his letter of the same evening will show : 

" If I were to tell all that I hear of the conduct of the 
Cardinal and of the encouragement given to those who 
have been proved beyond doubt to be jacobins and to 
have had posts, and to have been actually serving in the 
artillery under the Republic, I should not finish my letter 
. . . that his Eminence is governed by Padre Severino 
and others whose principles are well known to be anti- 
monarchical, that every protection is given in Naples to 
those noble families who are most decided enemies of 
his Sicilian Majesty. . . ." 

The tone of these letters is reproduced strongly in 
Hamilton's despatch to Lord Grenville, dated from the 
Foudroyant July I4th, while the despatch itself is a tissue 
of misstatements throughout, to whatever reason the 
inaccuracy may be due. The first thing that is clear, 
after reading the whole account, is that Hamilton con- 
sidered it a defensible and even honourable proceeding to 
take advantage of the capitulation, by which (according 
to his statement) the republicans were already embarked 
and on the point of sailing, to seize them all, and convert 
the transports into prison-ships. 

After preparing the ground by calling the treaty shame- 
ful, and saying that its execution would have sullied for 
ever the honour of their Sicilian Majesties ; further, by 
asserting that RufTo's "ambitious views were certainly to 


favour the nobles^ put himself at their head> re-establish 
the feudal system and oppress the People? etc., Hamilton 
proceeds : 

" When we anchor'd in this Bay the 24th of June the 
Capitulation of the Castles had in some measure taken 
place. Fourteen large Polacks or Transport vessels had 
taken on board out of the Castles the most conspicuous 
and criminal of the Neapolitan Rebells, that had chosen 
to go to Toulon, the others had already been permitted 
with their property to return to their own homes in this 
Kingdom, and Hostages selected from the first Royalist 
nobility of Naples had been sent into the Castle of St. 
Elmo that commands the city of Naples. . . . 

" Lord Nelson on our first interview with Cardinal 
Ruffo told His Eminency without any reserve, in what 
an infamous light he viewed the Treaty, and how disgrace- 
full it would be to their Sicilian Majesties, whose opinion 
and Intentions we both knew were directly contrary to 
such a Treaty [capitulation], which if carried into execution 
wou'd dishonour their Majesties for ever. (The Cardinal 
persisted in the support of what was done as His Eminency 
said to prevent the Capital from becoming a heap of 

" There was no time to be lost, for the Transport vessels 
were on the point of sailing for Toulon, when Lord Nelson 
order'd all the boats of His Squadron to be mann'd and 
armed and to bring those vessels with all the Rebells on 
board directly under the sterns of His ships, and there 
they remain, having taken out and secured on board of 
His Majesty's ships, the most guilty chiefs of the Rebellion. 
Lord Nelson assured the Cardinal at the same time that 
He did not mean to do any act contrary to His Eminency's 
Treaty, but as that Treaty cou'd not be valid until it had 
been ratified by His Sicilian Majesty His Lordship's 
meaning, was only to secure His Majesty's Rebellious 
subjects untill His Majesty's further pleasure shou'd be 
known. . , ." 


Put in this way by Hamilton, the trick played upon 
the garrisons disappears altogether, and only violence is 
obvious, committed upon men who were defenceless only 
because their safety was guaranteed by the treaty. The 
action which Hamilton thus attributes to his own dear 
friend is sufficiently abominable, and the morality of the 
thing is not affected by the fact that the despatch is 
completely incorrect as to dates and details. It has been 
suggested, in excuse for this inaccuracy, that it is due 
to the age and broken faculties of the writer and the 
lapse of some two to three weeks since the events occurred 
which the letter misrepresents. The more one studies the 
despatch, the less tenable becomes such a view. Com- 
paring what we know did really happen with Hamilton's 
account of what did not happen, his wits appear to be 
infinitely less at fault than his sense of truth and his sense 
of honour. The statement that the transports were on the 
point of sailing appears to be deliberately ^introduced so 
that the idea that there zvas no time to be lost may carry 
all before it ; just as the rebels are said to be already 
embarked, so that the question as to how they came to 
embark can never arise. 

It seems impossible indeed that all the long and heated 
discussions, the trafficking to and fro, the delays and 
anxieties, described by Hamilton himself in writing to 
Acton, should so soon have escaped his memory, par- 
ticularly when he and his wife took such especial credit 
for their own share in removing the obstacle to agreement. 

Hamilton, to judge him by his own letters and by this 
despatch, may well have been the inventor of the clever 
dodge which betrayed a hundred men better than he to 
a violent death, while it cast an indelible reproach on the 
name of the heroic man who listened to his counsel, and on 
the country whose most unworthy representative he was. 1 

In answer to Ruffo's letters of " most copious thanks " 

1 Lord Grenville seems to have taken his own view of Hamilton's 
conduct at this time ; within a year [July 4th, 1800] we find him 


[To face p. 304. 


for his assistance in carrying out the treaty, Hamilton 
replied on the 27th: 1 

" It is with great pleasure that I receive the note of 
your Eminence. We are all equally bent on the true 
service of his Sicilian Majesty, and of the good cause. 
Different characters express themselves in different ways. 
Thank God, all goes well, and I can assure your Eminence 
Lord Nelson congratulates himself upon the decision he 
took not to interrupt the operations of your Eminence, 
but to assist you with all his power to conclude the affair 
which up to the present moment your Eminence has so 
well conducted in the very critical circumstances in which 
your Eminence has been placed. 

" My Lord and I are too happy to have contributed a 
little to the service of their Sicilian Majesties, and to the 
tranquillity of your Eminence." 

But supposing his eminence to have been tranquil thus 
far, he was soon undeceived. Hamilton wrote next day, 
the 28th: 2 

" My Lord Nelson desires me to inform your Eminence 
that, in consequence of an order which he has just received 
from his Sicilian Majesty, who entirely disapproves of the 
capitulation made with his rebellious subjects in the Castles 
of Uovo and Nuovo, he is about to seize and make sure of 
those who have left them, and are on board the vessels 
in this port, submitting it to the opinion of your Eminence 
whether it would not be advisable to publish at first in 
Naples the reason of this transaction, and at the same 
time to warn the rebels who have escaped to Naples from 
the said Castles, that they must submit to the clemency 

writing to Paget at Palermo that he shall explain to Sir William 
Hamilton without reserve " the utter impossibility of his going 
back to Naples in any public situation" PAGET PAPERS, Vol. I., 
p. 237. No wonder Lady Hamilton called him " the cold-hearted 
Grenville." Rose's Diaries, I., p. 241. 

1 SACCHINELLI, p. 258. 

8 Diaries and Correspondence of the Right Hon. George Rose, 
Vol. I., p. 238, 



of his Sicilian Majesty within the space of 24 hours, 
under pain of death." 

Now comes in the question of Nelson's precise action 
in this matter. 

An Englishman struggles along before he can bring 
himself to believe that Nelson, intolerant, rough-and-ready 
as he was, and certainly incapable of fear, not only stooped 
to treachery, but even stooped to deny it. There are ill- 
deeds that men overlook or forgive. None denies that 
Nelson, married to a blameless wife, became the guilty 
lover of the wife of his own confiding friend and host. 
This, although it ruined Nelson so sadly, does not make 
him less than a hero in English eyes ; but the suspicion 
that he stooped to such a trick as that of which Sacchinelli 
and all Continental writers accuse him, and indeed all 
students of the Naples episode cannot but lay to his 
charge, is unbearable to those who can bear the rest. 

Nelson constantly declared that the rebels came out of 
the castles " under his opinion " (i.e. that the treaty ought 
not to be carried out without the approbation of his Sicilian 
Majesty\ " as they ought and as I hope all those who 
are false to their King and Country will, to be hanged, or 
otherwise disposed of, as their Sovereign thought proper." l 
And again to Earl Spencer : " Your Lordship will observe 
my Note, and opinion to the Cardinal. The Rebels came 
out of the Castles, with this knowledge, without any 
honours, and the principal Rebels were seized and con- 
ducted on board the Ships of the Squadron. The others, 
embarked in fourteen polacres, were anchored under the 
care of our Ships." The terms, he says, were unconditional 
surrender. This letter was written at the same time that 
Hamilton wrote his very different account to Lord 
Grenville. 2 Nelson's letter to Lord Keith, dated June 27th, 

1 Despatches, Appendix, Vol. III., p. 510. Letter to Mr. Davison, 
May gth, 1800. 

2 Despatches, III., p. 406. Better to Earl Spencer, July ijth, 


merely reports the giving of the opinion to Ruffo, and 
says that " Under this opinion the Rebels came out of the 
Castles which was instantly occupied by the Marines," etc. 1 

A student familiar with the rest of the evidence, who 
comes to study Nelson's too brief account of the matter, 
must be struck with its incompleteness and its incoherency. 
One would think it must have struck Nelson himself as 
odd that the republicans, on his opinion that the treaty 
ought not to be carried out, instead of demanding a 
continuance of the armistice pending the royal decision 
or resuming hostilities, however desperate, should forth- 
with come out like a flock of sheep. Still more odd 
should it have appeared to him that men who surrendered 
unconditionally should embark with their luggage on 
board vessels that had been preparing to take them to 
France. 2 Most strange of all, perhaps, that some of 
them returned to their homes in the city. 

These things were all known to him. Yet in the letter 
to Earl Spencer, he says that the rebels were seized and 
conducted on board the ships, etc., as though their 
seizure followed instantly on surrender. Yet it was 
in Nelson's name that Hamilton wrote to Ruffo, two 
days after the embarkation, that in consequence of the 
king's disallowing the capitulation he was about to seize 
and make sure of those who had left the castles and 
embarked. 3 Under what condition had they then em- 
embarked? one must needs ask. 

If the republicans had been themselves responsible for 
unconditional surrender, nothing better could have been 
desired by Nelson, the Court, and all writers on the 

1 Despatches, III., p. 393. 

a See F. P. BADHAM, Nelson at Naples, p. 42, for extracts 
from letters written on board the transports to Nelson, and much 
careful weighing of the evidence. 

8 The fact that this letter is among the papers of Mr. Rose shows 
that Nelson included it among his own documents on the subject, 
and was prepared to have it published, See Despatches, III., 
Appendix, p. 510, 


royal side, Ruflfo and the rest ; and one imagines that 
if it actually took place, there would be no difficulty 
in finding accounts of the matter that agreed in bearing 
the light. If, again, the surrender was unconditional in 
Nelson's mind, why did he wish after two days to publish 
in Naples an explanation of his action with regard to 
the republicans already embarked, according to him, as 
prisoners? Was he not then under the impression that 
the public, at any rate, had regarded the evacuation 
of the castles as a carrying out of the terms of the 
capitulation ? 

So far it is evident that both the English accounts of 
the matter are false. The falsehood of Hamilton's despatch 
appears (to the present writer, at least) deliberate through- 
out. The falsehood of Nelson's version, always the same 
from year to year, appears to be possibly unconscious. 
It seems just within the limits of possibility to admit 
that when the transaction took place, Nelson was ignorant 
of any deception practised, and imagined the surrender 
to be unconditional, while from regard for Ruffo he 
abstained from overt action until he had special authority 
from Palermo. The position was illogical ; but logic 
is nowhere Nelson's strong point, while intolerance and 
narrowness are characteristic of all he did at this time, 
so that he may not have troubled his head about the 
views of the republicans and all the conflicting considera- 
tions that torment the student of the present day, anxious 
but unable to lay his conduct down straight by the line 
of truth. Whether later on he had misgivings that what 
actually occurred was not precisely what he intended, 
and guessed or knew that a trick had been played, guessed 
or knew to whom the trick was due, and felt then bound 
in honour or in friendship to an eternal silence at any 
cost, are things we do not know; but it appears that 
his conduct and eventual steady adherence to his own 
meaning, while always avoiding discussion, lend a little 
support to such a position. 


If, then, under all the evidence, we may perhaps acquit 
Nelson of complicity in the trick (notwithstanding that 
shifty sentence in Hamilton's letter to Acton, "if one 
can't do exactly what one wishes, one must act for the 
best ; and that is what Lord Nelson has done "), he cannot 
be acquitted of ferocity, fostered, it is true, by all his 
intercourse with the Court, but still natively his own, and 
so much so that more than three years after these miserable 
events and the execution of some hundred men, whose 
death was due solely to his action on this occasion, he 
was able to write that he " veryihappily arrived at Naples 
and prevented such an infamous transaction from taking 
place." 1 

The state of Nelson's mind with regard to the French 
has already been pointed out (Chapter IV.), and his corre- 
spondence teems with most violent expressions against 
the whole nation. Towards rebels and as such, without 
any inquiry into their position, he regarded the republicans 
his implacable, fierce hatred was even more violent. 
He regarded nations as mere ship's crews on board a 
man-of-war, and kings as the captains, and evidently 
considered it part of his duty to get as many hanged as 
possible of any such crew that had shown symptoms of 

Not only had Nelson the king's full approval (we are 
not surprised to hear it), but the king had his and retained 
it ; observe his postscript to Mr. Stephens, who was writing 
a history 2 : " I must beg leave to warn you to be careful 
how you mention the characters of such excellent 
Sovereigns as the King and Queen of Naples." 

That his implacability exceeded his instructions fully 
as much as Ruffo's leniency was pretended to have 
exceeded his, a comparison of his own attitude and 
utterances and actions with the instructions given him 

1 See Despatches, III., Appendix, p. 520. Letter to Mr. A. 

8 Ibid., dated February loth, 1803. 


when he first undertook the expedition to Naples 1 the 
only formal instructions he appears to have had amply 
proves. By these instructions the intimations to rebels 
were to follow the general tenor of the "law given by 
His Majesty to Cardinal Ruffo on the 29th of April last." 

This is the only allusion to a precise law given to 
Ruffo, and considering that Ruffo was advocating clemency 
and pardon up to the last moment, one may suppose the 
question was in fact open, and only closed when the Court 
saw that Nelson would pull them through. 

By the 6th article, in arranging a military capitulation 
with the French in St. Elmo, the French were to be 
allowed to stipulate "the departure of various rebels 
even leaders according to circumstances, if the public 
good, the promptitude of the operation, and reasons of 
weight were to make it appear advisable." 

Nelson, however, before he even cast anchor at Naples, 
and while under the impression that the treaty was only 
an armistice, wrote down, " That as to Rebels and Traitors, 
no power on earth has a right to stand between their 
gracious King and them : they must instantly throw 
themselves on the clemency of their Sovereign, for no 
other terms will be allowed them ; nor will the French 
be allowed even to name them in any capitulation'' 

The 9th article ran thus : " Since it is the mind of His 
Majesty, that the Castles of Naples be speedily evacuated 
by the enemy and the rebels, to use besides force any 
other means whatever that may be necessary, the Prince 
Royal is authorised to secure this object at any cost." 2 

1 Printed in Rose's Diaries, etc., Vol. I., p. 231, et seg., and pre- 
sumably given to Mr. Rose as part of the documents to be used 
in defence of Nelson's conduct. Nelson, it may be remembered, 
had set sail for Naples on June I3th, been obliged by news 
of the French fleet to put back, and had finally left once more on 
June 2 1 st 

The prince, who had embarked with the first abortive expedi- 
tion, did not accompany Nelson eventually. 


Acts of clemency were to be reserved to the king for 
rebels not covered by a capitulation with the French. 

By this 9th article it appears that Nelson was at liberty 
to get the rebels out of the castles by any means whatever, 
and at whatever cost. What more authority could a humane 
man have required to enable him to let them go into exile ? 

Besides his uncompromising sentiments towards the 
republicans, Nelson laboured under a complete mis- 
apprehension of Ruffo's character and motives. This is 
evident whenever he has occasion to mention him ; equally 
evident, from other sources, is the fact that this prejudice 
was carefully fostered in him by persons who might have 
known better, whether their own prejudice was genuine 
or interested. Hamilton had lived thirty-five years at 
Naples, and appears to have remained ignorant to the 
last of the country, and indifferent to all but the petty 
spites and mean policies of the Court. Nelson, at Naples, 
merely imbibed the prejudices of those by whom he was 
surrounded, quite unable to distinguish between truth and 
slander. We have seen his second-hand, but thoroughly 
assimilated, hatred of Gallo, Thugut, and Manfredini ; 
observe an instance of his judgment upon Ruffo at 
this very time. On June 2pth he wrote to Acton : 
" The last placard of the Cardinal is that no-one is to be 
arrested without his order, which is equivalent to wishing 
to save the Rebels. In fact, yesterday there was a 
discussion as to whether the Cardinal ought to be 
arrested. . . ." 1 

Now this edict was published not at all by Ruffo, but 
by the regent, Prince of Bisignano, in concert with the 
whole State Junta. It did, in fact, prohibit all arrests and 
pillage without express orders, either of the Junta or of 
the general (i.e. the captain-general, Duke of Salandra), 
on pain of immediate death. And the reason for this 
stringent order was that a great number of "innocent 
royalists " had been arrested and maltreated by the mob 
1 DUMAS, IV., p. 90. 


in quest of plunder. This reason was given in the edict 
itself, and it was hailed with joy by all quiet and honest 
people. " One begins to breathe more quietly," comments 
De Nicola in his diary. 1 

Before taking his unjust and violent view of it, Nelson, 
who could not read the original, must have been primed 
by persons interested in casting suspicion on Ruffo. In 
September an edict to the same effect, but more severe, 
was put up in Naples in the king's name. 2 

Instances might be multiplied, but perhaps enough has 
been said to show that the intention was to throw the 
odium upon the English. Troubridge divined this at 
Procida. Hamilton, in his despatch, accuses Ruffo of trying 
to do this, but a far craftier hand and brain than Ruffo's 
were at work ; and it may be said that the plan succeeded, 
the ground being propitious on which the seeds were 
cast. Nelson believed that Ruffo had exceeded and flatly 
disobeyed his instructions ; that he was " endeavouring to 
form a party hostile to the interests of his sovereign " 3 ; 
and again, " the Cardinal appears to be working mischief 
against the King in support of the Nobles. . . . " * 

Nelson, blustering about the honour of his two 
sovereigns, did not perceive that he was the mere tool 
of a few vindictive cowards, who, by pretending to 
disavow Ruffo's action and authority, got him to do 
what Ruffo would not do. But this seems to have been 
instantly the impression in Lord Keith's mind when he 
heard Nelson's account, brief as it was, and learned 
that Caracciolo had been executed. " Advise those 
Neapolitans not to be too sanguinary," he wrote back 
directly. "Cowards are always cruel. . . . Give them 
fair words and little confidence." 6 But it was not 

Diario for June 29th. 

Ibid, for September 23rd. 

Despatches, III., Appendix, p. 494. To Captain Foote. 

Ibid., p. 447. 

Ibid., p. 419, date July i2th. 


in Nelson to give such advice, nor to take a friendly 

Nelson seems to have possessed the faculty of persuading 
himself that that was right which he chose to do, and 
is said to have observed in his dying moments that he 
had not been a great sinner. He seems to have had no 
difficulty in believing that God was on his side at all 
times, and wrote on July I3th to the Duke of Clarence: 
"The Almighty has in this war blessed my endeavours 
beyond my most sanguine expectations, and never more 
than in the entire expulsion of the French thieves from 
the Kingdom of Naples " ; 1 nor only in this case, where 
political hatred had made him blind, but even where one 
would have thought there could be no room for delusion. 
During her husband's life, and while one roof sheltered 
their common home, he writes to Emma Hamilton as his 
own dear wife in the face of Heaven, and thanks God that 
the child, of whom he believed himself the father, is the 
only child he or she has ever had. He even alludes to 
God Almighty as able to remove the impediment to their 
eventual marriage, the impediment being his own innocent 
wife. 2 Of his wife he writes to Lady Hamilton : " She 
is a great fool, and thank God you are not the least 
bit like her." 3 

The morality of such a man, public and private, can- 
not be judged by ordinary standards ; there seems no 
particular limit to what he might have brought himself 
to do with a comfortable conscience, and to defend with 
a defiant self-assertion that abashes criticism. 

He based the nullity of the capitulation on Ruffe's 
disobedience to orders, but himself disobeyed orders in 
remaining at Naples. 4 In his own case he admitted the 
plea of discretion and necessity, which in Ruffo's case 

1 Despatches, III., Appendix, p. 410, about July I3th. 

2 JEAFFRESON: Lady Hamilton and Lord Nelson, Vol. II., 
pp. 225, 271. 

3 MORRISON : Hamilton and Nelson Papers, 502. 

4 Despatches, III., p. 408, et seq. 


were of far greater weight. In that blind and stupid 
ferocity which he exalted into a sense of duty, Nelson 
helped the Bourbons to their eternal shame, and struck 
a mortal blow to the dynasty of which he had chosen 
to be a paladin. 

The violent and ignominious deaths of the hundred 
and more patriots who perished through Nelson's action 
raised them for evermore to the pinnacle of martyrs. 
These men, who as republicans had failed completely, and 
with whom as yet the mass of their countrymen were 
not in sympathy, if they had been suffered to depart 
as ruined men to France, would certainly have been a 
thousand times less dangerous to the existence of the 
Bourbon than they became in their bloody graves, each 
one the fertile seed-plot whence sprang ere long a 
hundred patriots. 1 

It is to the eternal honour of Ruffo as a statesman that 
he saw this so clearly, repeated it openly over and over 
again, and urged it in the teeth of the petty and vindictive 
counsels that kept coming from Palermo. 

Nelson must bear the blame of his violence and 
stupidity. Of the charge of treachery and falsehood 
brought against him by Southey and by every Italian 
and Continental historian, it seems difficult, at present, to 
acquit him, unless it could be proved that the Hamiltons 
in deceiving Ruffo deceived Nelson also. A mere turn 
of phrase would have been enough, and where all that 
Nelson said had to be rendered in another language, 
there was ample room for a little hocus-pocus which those 
two inglesi-italianati may have conceived to be for the 

1 " Une maxime atroce a et6 prononc6e ou supposed : il rfy a 
que les morts qui ne reviennent pas ; et si on fait attention aux 
choses plutdt qu'aux mots, cette maxime est aussi fausse qu'elle 
est atroce. Us reviennent ; les morts sont les revenans les plus 
terribles : Us reviennent converts de leur sang et demandant le sang 
de ceux qui ont vers6 le leur." DOMINIQUE-JOSEPH GARAT: 
Preface to Mtmoires historiques sur le XVIII. siecle, et sur 
M. Suard. 2 vols. 


good of all parties. Under this supposition, even that 
expression in Nelson's letter to the cardinal at the 
time of the embarkation, " I hope your Eminence will 
be satisfied that I am supporting your ideas," may be 
accounted for if the cardinal's ideas had been mis- 
represented to him. So far nothing proves that it was 
so ; but the queen's extravagant gratitude to Lady 
Hamilton at this time, for services which have never 
been specified, may perhaps be taken to point that way. 
And while neither the Hamiltons nor Nelson can, 
as yet, be absolved from the stain of this "deplorable 
transaction," the question remains, Was Ruffo deceived ? 

Even here history gives no clear answer ; but it is 
difficult to resist the conclusion that if Ruffe's case had 
no flaw in it, there need have been none in Sacchinelli's 
defence, published in 1836, when Nelson, the Hamiltons, 
Ruffo, the king and queen, and the victims were all 
long dead. 

It is difficult to grant that Ruffo, on receiving the 
ambiguous note from Sir William Hamilton on the 
morning of the 26th, genuinely took armistice to be 
equivalent to capitulation ; difficult also to grant that 
he genuinely took the equally ambiguous unsigned paper 
brought by the two captains to be a valid document. 
In these two, to use the half-true words of Nelson's own 
defence of what was done, "nothing was promised by 
a British Officer which was not subsequently carried 
into effect." And even if the student of these things 
were prepared to grant both suppositions, and allow 
Ruffo to be completely deceived, Sacchinelli relieves 
him of the necessity. The cardinal, he says, suspected 
bad faith, and therefore the cardinal cannot be excused 
for acting precipitately upon the guarantee of the two 
very papers which roused these suspicions in his mind. 

Nelson's decision having been sent in to the castles 
at daybreak on the 26th, together with the notes of 
Ruffo and the Russian commander to say the troops 


were about to retire from guarding the approaches to 
the castles, the troops in effect retired. Then ensued the 
panic in the city during which, Micheroux says, "in a 
few hours thousands and thousands of people left Naples." 

This was the circumstance that seems to have led to 
the decision and message that came from Nelson through 
Hamilton to Ruffo, Sacchinelli says, "towards mid-day." 
Micheroux says, however, that Ruffo's order, subsequent 
upon the message from Nelson, reached him towards ten, 
which may probably be more correct, because Hamilton 
(p. 300) tells Acton that he wrote " early " in the morning 
to Ruffo. The question is whether, though Sacchinelli 
says nothing about it, Ruffo, when he suspected bad 
faith, wrote again to Nelson for further assurance, and 
whether it was on receipt of such letter that Nelson 
wrote : " I am just honoured with your Eminence's letter ; 
as his Excellency Sir William Hamilton has wrote you 
this morning, that I will not on any consideration break 
the armistice entered into by you, I hope your Eminence 
will be satisfied that I am supporting your ideas." 1 

Mr. Badham 2 with much reason looks upon this letter 
as an answer to one from Ruffo, demanding further 
reassurance, which is nowhere at present forthcoming. 
The expression "has wrote you this morning" would 
point strictly to the time being still morning, and the 
expression about the armistice, ambiguous like the rest, 
may have been written to tranquillise the doubts still 
expressed by Ruffo. If so, the letter, sailing so craftily 
near the wind, is another link in the chain of evidence 
against Nelson, and Ruffo might be excused, perhaps, 
for accepting it. At the same time, since this moment is 
the very pith and turning-point of the whole episode, it 

1 Despatches, III., p. 394. The letter has no date. Nicolas 
assumes the date to be June 28th ; but it seems evidently to have 
been written on the 26th, the day Sir W. Hamilton wrote the 
letter it alludes to. 

Nelson at Naples, p. 24. 


is unfortunate and almost incredible, if Ruffo wrote again 
when he first suspected bad faith, and received this 
letter in answer, that documents so vitally important 
to his own case should have been lost when the rest 
were preserved, or not published when their publication 
was so desirable. It is further worthy of note that although 
a second edition of Sacchinelli was published as lately 
as 1895, with Sacchinelli's replies to certain criticisms 
not to our purpose, not one word of any sort is added 
to throw light upon this crucial point. 

In reply to such criticisms it may be answered that 
if Nelson's last-quoted letter was undated, its tenor also 
being the same as that of Hamilton's of the same time, 
Sacchinelli may possibly have overlooked the importance 
of producing the two. There is, moreover, the alternative 
supposition that the identical papers sent by Ruffo to 
Micheroux for the guarantee of the garrisons when they 
left the castles, and by him never presented and eventually 
forwarded to Palermo with his Compendia >, may yet be 
found in the Archives at Palermo, or may form part 
of the papers said to have been withdrawn from public 
access. At any rate, if Ruffo morally connived at the 
trick, it seems clear that he had no understanding with 
Hamilton, who wrote in his already-quoted despatch to 
Lord Grenville, " We contrived to keep everything going 
on decently, by supporting the King's Vicar General 
untill we had answers from Their Sicilian Majesties at 
Palermo." If Ruffo had agreed to embark the republicans 
on a false understanding, the other side would certainly 
have made the most of it. 

Under the present evidence one can only accept 
Sacchinelli's statement, and believe that Ruffo was not 
without misgivings, but that he brushed them aside and 
let matters proceed. The English, he may have reflected, 
and Sacchinelli clings to this idea, would now have the 
responsibility of any further action. Once embarked, 
the patriots were no longer his affair, and he forthwith 


appointed a Te Deum in the Carmine, and went thither 
in state, on the 27th, to give at once public emphasis to 
his own position. 

That Ruffb was not prepared to go all lengths in this 
matter is shown by the fact that he remained on friendly 
terms with the English and with the Court by whom he 
had been so signally affronted and betrayed. 

When Nelson, having secured the transports, proceeded 
on the evening of the 28th to arrest the more noted among 
the patriots, and their formal remonstrance was brought 
to Ruffo, he sent Micheroux to Nelson to beg him "not 
to stain his glory," and not to expose the lives of the 
four illustrious hostages in St. Elmo to an inevitable 
reprisal. But here, probably, was another coil of treachery 
within the first, for the hostages came off scot free when 
Me*jean went his dishonoured way. But there is no gleam 
of virtue about Mejean to tempt the historian to seek 
attenuation for his vileness. The vindictive queen herself 
had suggested allowing him the lives of fifty, and even a 
hundred republicans ; the king's instructions to Nelson 
would have enabled him to save even the most noted in 
his terms of capitulation. But M6jean was more solicitous 
for money, and made no serious effort to secure any 
Neapolitan lives. Worse than this, when his officers had 
generously disguised many of these unfortunates in French 
uniform and scattered them among their own ranks as 
they formed to march out of St. Elmo, Mejean, accom- 
panied by the royal police, went up and down the ranks, 
pointed them out, and gave them all over to their enemies ; 
nor only those who were disguised, but others, such as 
Generals Matera and Belpulsi, who, though originally 
Neapolitan subjects, had long served in the French army 
and wore the uniform by right. These things raised a 
storm of indignation among the French officers, and on 
his return to France, Mejean was subjected to a court- 
martial. But the proceedings, long drawn out, fell through 
by the death of Generals Championnet and Joubert, and 


later by the favour of Murat, and Mejean was left to 
punish himself at leisure. The accusation against him 
at Naples was that he preferred money to honour ; the 
same accusation rose against him in other circumstances, 
and led to his disgrace. He died in obscurity in I83I, 1 
and posterity cannot feel sorry for him. 

But Ruffo we cannot leave without regret, because he 
saw what was right and strove hard to get it done, not 
because it was right, but because it was wise ; and ulti- 
mately right and wisdom are one. But Ruffo divided 
them ; he could not bring himself to let go all that he 
had toiled for, and accept disgrace and poverty for the 
sake of a principle. He cared not a straw for the re- 
publicans as such, but neither had he any rancour against 
them, having sense and insight enough to perceive how 
few and how harmless they were, provided only they were 
not persecuted ; indeed, he may possibly have underrated 
their importance because the power of moral ideas con- 
stantly escaped him : " I do not look for heroism which 
is rarely to be found," he wrote to Acton, speaking of his 
army, and the words show us the man. He was not a 
hero, and did not much believe in heroism ; heroism which 
leaped to meet Ettore Carafa wherever he went, Ruffo 
therefore rarely found. 

For the king, much as he must have despised him, 
Ruffo cared far more, cared supremely, as the fountain- 
head of his own prosperity and wealth. We have seen 
his views, expressed to Micheroux : let us not be over-nice 
as to means and details, because in the end the king will 
certainly reward us handsomely. 

And so it came to pass that Ruffo wrote wrote several 
times on June 28th (the day of the seizing of the patriots 
on the ships), and on July 6th and nth, to Palermo 
tendering his resignation, not at all upon the ground 
of the violated treaty, but, in sad irony, on the plea of 
fatigue, physical weakness, and " deterioration of his mental 
1 Arch. Stor., XXIV. 4, p. 470, et seq. 


faculties," so at least we gather from the amiable and 
ambiguous replies of the queen, 1 who wrote professing 
her undying gratitude and admiration for all he had done, 
and for the " profundity and wisdom " of those observations 
of his which nevertheless she systematically disregarded 
and showed herself incapable of appreciating ; and, while 
refusing to listen to his proposals of resignation, was 
writing to Lady Hamilton complaining of his silence, 
and further remarking, in her suspicious way : " The 
Cardinal's conduct looks to me very equivocal ; we must 
see actually how he conducts himself; either he will ask 
leave to resign, and ask it as one asks w/to means to obtain 
and not by way of a mere remark, or he will bend to 
whatever he is told in order to remain at the head of the 
Government. I know in each case what to think, and I 
know which will make me tremble." And again, as late 
as July 1 8th : "As for the Cardinal, I don't know how it 
will end. In me he certainly inspires no confidence 
whatever, and I believe he is tricking all parties in order 
to remain in despotic command on the departure of the 
king." 2 So little did the queen know the man who had 
served her only too well all these months ! She thought 
he was aiming at supreme power and was at heart, very 
likely, a Jacobin ! 

This was the spirit that had revolted the sober but 
patriotic Caracciolo and driven him to cast in his lot 
with the republicans ; this it was that cut away the 
ground from under Ruffo's feet and took the nerve out 
of his resistance. But his cynicism, bred up by the Roman 
Curia, did not revolt ; he took the world as he found it. 
No doubt he knew that adverse winds were blowing from 
Palermo, fanned by Acton, against him ; possibly he 
knew of the little comedy of his arrest that was imposing 
upon the English ; and when his brother, Francesco 
Ruffo, was sent to Palermo with the news of the fall of 

1 Arch. Stor., V. 4, pp. 662-663. 

? PALUMBO ; Carteggio, pp. 201 and 101. 

Q -vT 


St. Elmo, probably Ruffo knew the English were told he 
was sent " as a hostage," while the queen wrote cordially 
to the cardinal : " I have been talking a great deal with 
Ciccio [very familiar Neapolitan for Francesco] and heard 
with admiration of all the labours, sufferings, marches, 
and truly miraculous operations carried out by your worthy 
and zealous self which have earned for you my Eternal 
Gratitude." 1 

Pettigrew, deceived by the English view of Ruffo, and 
grown lavish of Neapolitan lives, imagines that Ruffo's 
head was to be taken off " if necessary " ; but a cardinal's 
head was safe enough with Ferdinand. Short of his life, 
however, Ruffo knew that much that he valued was at 
stake ; he risked it to the very verge of ruin and disgrace, 
and there he drew back. He did not pretend heroism 
from others, and our severest judgment on him is passed 
when we say it was not to be expected of him. 

Unheroic as Ruffo's personality is, in the crisis at 
Naples he stands far above the others, who together 
shared with him the disposing of events ; here at least, 
as Racioppi puts it, history renders him justice : " he 
saw, acted and advised as a statesman ; but Nelson 
acted like a pirate, the queen like a tiger, the king like 
a clown." 2 

1 DUMAS : Document, p. 187. 

2 RACIOPPI : Storia dei Popoli delta Lucania e Basilicata, II., 
p. 277. 



Caracciolo ; trial, sentence, and execution Thurn's report- 
Ill-feeling between Thurn and Caracciolo Mazzitelli The 
"Bourbon executioner"; his "conscience and his honour "- 
Hamilton uneasy English treatment of Caracciolo ; review 
of his action, position, character, his feeling Nelson and 
Lady Hamilton restorers of happiness to all who deserve it. 

WHILE the republicans in the castles were being 
involved in the net, out of which so many of 
them were to escape no more, Nelson and his friends 
and agents left no stone unturned to find and catch 
Caracciolo, the man whose great experience, capacity, 
and activity inspired such terror for the future in the 

king and queen. " of the wicked rebels the only one 

who I desire should not go to France," the queen wrote 
to Ruffo on June ipth, "is the unworthy Caracciolo; 
this most ungrateful scoundrel knows all the ins and 
outs of the coasts of Naples and Sicily, and might do 
great harm and even imperil the safety of the king, 
a thing which alarms me . . . " 1 

And again, when it became known at Palermo that 
Caracciolo was not among the republicans in the castles, she 
wrote : "... I am very sorry about the flight of Caracciolo, 
for I believe that such an outlaw 2 on the sea may be 

1 Note this, " the only one" \ We are already at June I9th, and 
the negotiations for the capitulation are actually in progress. Was 
not Ruffo justified, under such pressure as he was, in supposing 
that the rest of the " wicked rebels " might go ? 

8 Forban is the queen's word, which is not Italian ; she meant 
probably fuorbandito, an outlaw i.e. in her mind a reckless 
man intent on mischief. 



dangerous to the sacred person of the king, and therefore 
I should wish this traitor to be put beyond the power 
of doing harm ..." 

Caracciolo, in fact, when there was no more righting 
to be done, left the arsenal on the I7th, disguised as 
a peasant, and lay hid some time while seeking means 
to escape. It appears that the Duchess of Bagnara, 
a niece of Ruffo, offered him certain tickets or tokens 
which would secure him free passage through the invad- 
ing forces ; but not one of the republicans could bring 
himself to trust the cardinal. Caracciolo preferred to 
run all other risks, and withdrew to Calvizzano, a village 
not far from Naples, where lay feudal lands of his 
mother's family, and a villa, in which his hiding-place 
is still shown. 

It seems probable that here Ruffo honestly tried to 
save Caracciolo, as he had tried to save the garrisons, 
but in a furtive way that aroused suspicion of his intentions, 
natural enough under the circumstances, and possibly 
warranted still further by Ruffo's personal character, 
which, since he had now been publicly employed by 
the king for some seven years at Naples and Caserta, 
would have made its impression for good or ill on men 
who were also more or less in public life or moved in 
circles where Ruffo was known and criticised. 

Ruffo, as we have seen, openly and constantly disapproved 
of the system of treating the republicans as rebels, chiefly 
because he saw the consequences to which such a policy 
must lead, and also because he could not take their 
republicanism quite seriously, much less agree in calling 
rebellion the movement which had been more forced upon 
Naples, and of course upon her most capable men, than 
brought about by any party within the city. But his 
hands were tied. He did what he dared to do ; but 
however far he might venture in behalf of the rest, 
Caracciolo was expressly excluded from any possible 
clemency. It was much, therefore, if Ruffo, through his 


niece, opened a door for possible flight, although he 
could not go so far as to show his hand, or if he 
showed it, it was his misfortune not to be trusted. 

Caracciolo, warned that he was betrayed, changed his 
hiding-place, and lay concealed first in a hut, and then 
down a well. But there was a price upon his head, 
and he was discovered by Scipione La Marra, probably 
on June 25th, and taken to the granili. Such is the 
account of D'Ayala, 1 with which corresponds a notice 
in the Diario for the 25th, 2 probably written in the 
evening, as the author noted things at intervals as he 
heard or observed them during the day, and this is 
the last entry for the day : " Don Francesco Caracciolo 
has been arrested." Further confirming this probability 
is a passage in a letter from Hamilton to Ruffo on 
June 27th 3 : "His Lordship begs me to add that if your 
Eminence thinks proper to send him Caracciolo and the 
rest of the other rebels, in accordance with his proposal 
of yesterday, he will dispose of them." The same day 
Hamilton wrote, moreover, to Acton : " Caracciolo and 
twelve others of those infamous rebels will shortly be 
given into Lord Nelson's hands." 4 

These passages show that on the 26th Nelson already 
knew that Caracciolo was arrested ; on the 27th he 
renewed to Ruffo a proposal made the day before, that 
the admiral should be consigned to him. 

Ruffo seems to have delayed until, by the arrival of the 

1 D'AYALA : Vite degli Italiani benemeriti, p. 139. 

2 Diario, June 25th, Arch. Stor. Nap., XXIV. 3, p. 213. 

3 Roses Diaries, etc., I., p. 237. 

4 MR. BADHAM (Nelson at Naples, p. 32) considers that 
Caracciolo's "starved and hunted condition" points to his not 
having " been some days in one of Ruffo's prisons." Knowing 
what Ruffo's prisons were, and the manner in which prisoners 
reached their inhospitable shelter, Caracciolo's condition when 
brought on board presents no special evidence of his not having 
been three or four days a prisoner. One may say, indeed, that 
the prisoners were all hunted and all starved. 


royal letters from Palermo, Nelson assumed full powers, 
and the ground was cut from under his feet. It was not 
till the morning of the 2Qth that La Marra brought 
Caracciolo on board the Foudroyant. 

Sacchinelli says that Caracciolo was captured, in a 
village near Naples where he was hiding, by Scipio 
La Marra, "who conducted him straight to Nelson on 
board the Foudroyant ; and in order not to carry him 
through the head quarters at the Ponte della Maddalena, 
where the Cardinal was, caused him to be embarked by 
night at the Granatello" i.e. at Portici. 1 

This statement, gratuitous and circumstantial as it is, 
reads like an excuse which accuses ; it is not supported 
by any evidence, and rather points to the conclusion drawn 
above, that Caracciolo was in Ruffo's keeping, and that 
Ruffo, under pressure, handed him over to Nelson. 
Sacchinelli, seeking as usual to exonerate Ruffo from 
charges brought against him eventually of having sacrificed 
the patriots to the English and the king, endeavours 
to show that Caracciolo was never in Ruffo's power ; and 
as an apologist not only of Ruffo, but of the Bourbon, 
is anxious to acquit them of the blame bestowed by 
public opinion all over Italy and Europe upon the authors 
of the summary proceedings against Caracciolo. 

Nelson seems to have been dominated and possessed 
by the one idea of making a tremendous example of 
Caracciolo. The matter had been discussed on board the 
Foudroyant, and the admiral's fate virtually decided by 
the English admiral and the English ambassador, full 
two days before he was brought bound before his self- 
appointed judge. Witness the letter of Hamilton to Acton 
of June 27th, 2 where he has said that Caracciolo and 
twelve others will soon be in Nelson's hands : " If I am 
not mistaken, they will be sent cautiously to Procida to 

1 SACCHINELLI, p. 266. 

2 DUMAS, IV., p. 87. 


be judged there, and as tJiey become condemned 1 they will 
return here for the execution of their sentence. Caracciolo 
will probably be Jianged at the fore yard arm of the Minerva, 
wJiere he will remain exposed from daybreak to sunset^ since 
such an example is necessary for the future service of 
His Sicilian Majesty's marine in the heart of which 
jacobinism has already made such great progress." 

The point of view and general state of mind of the 
powers on board the Foudroyant are further illustrated by 
Hamilton's letter of the morning of the 2Qth to Acton, 
soon after the prisoners had been brought on board : 
" Here we have had the spectacle of Caracciolo, pale, with 
a long beard, half dead, and with downcast eyes, brought 
in handcuffs on board this vessel, where he is at this 
moment, together with the son of Cassano, D. Giulio, 2 
the priest Pacifico 3 and other infamous traitors. I 
suppose justice will be immediately executed upon the 
most guilty. In truth it is a shocking thing, but I 
who know their ingratitude, and their crimes, have felt 
it less painful than the numerous other persons present 
at this spectacle. I believe it to be a good thing that 
we have the chief culprits on board our ships now 
that we are just going to attack St. Elmo, because so 
we shall be able to cut off a head for every cannon 
ball that the French throw into the city of Naples." 

This is the man to whom, in company with the king, 
the queen, and Acton, Nelson was indebted for his political 

Exactly what passed at the court-martial upon Caracciolo 
is not known ; whether the proceedings were completely 

1 Author's italics: " a misura che saranno condannati" 
3 The son of Cassano was Gennaro Serra. Don Giulio means, 
probably, Giuliano Colonna, who shared his fate. 

3 This mention of Pacifico, who was certainly imprisoned in the 
graniliy points again to the conclusion that these prisoners, brought 
on board at one time, came from one place. See, for Pacifico's 
imprisonment, Racconti Storici di Gaetano Rodino, in Arch. 
Stor. Nap., VI. 3, p. 500, et seq. 


[To face p. 326. 


legal or not seems still open to dispute dispute upon 
points of mere technicality which, supposing they could 
still be adjusted and brought clearly within decided legal 
limits, do not affect the real situation. 

No one who understands the character of the Court at 
Palermo can doubt that almost any conceivable atrocity 
Nelson could have ordered or helped to commit at Naples 
would have had fullest sanction ; he could not go too far. 
The shocking thing is that in Nelson they found a tool 
to their hand, not only willing, but eager to do their work. 

The only authentic account of the trial, at present, is 
the report of the Conte di Thurn sent to Ruffb on the 
evening of the 2pth and published by Sacchinelli, trans- 
cribing from the original document : 1 

" It is my duty to inform your Eminence that I received 
this morning an order from Admiral Lord Nelson to 
proceed immediately on board his vessel together with 
five senior officers. I complied immediately with the 
said order, and being come on board received a written 
order to form immediately on board the said vessel a 
council of war against the Cavaliere Don Francesco 
Caracciolo, accused as a rebel against the Majesty of 
our August Master, and to decide upon the punishment 
adequate to his crime. The order was instantly carried 
out, and the Council of war being formed in a chamber 
of the said vessel, I had the culprit 2 brought in. First 
I caused him to be recognised by all present and by the 
Judges : I then informed him of the charges, and asked 
him if he had any reasons to urge in his defence. He 
replied that he had several, and being given the oppor- 
tunity to produce them, they turned more or less \esse si 
sono raggirate\ upon the fact that though he had served 
the infamous so-called republic, it had been because he 

1 SACCHINELLI, p. 265. 

2 Note this : Caracciolo is the culprit in the eyes of his judge 
before the trial; in truth he might as well have called him the 


had been obliged thereto by the Government who threat- 
ened to have him shot. I then asked him some questions, 
in answer to which he admitted to having taken up the 
arms of the so-called republic against those of His Majesty, 
but always because obliged by force. He admitted having 
been with the division of gunboats which went out to 
prevent, from the sea, the entry of His Majesty's troops, 
but upon this head he urged that he believed them to 
be insurgents : l he confessed having given written orders 
tending to oppose the arms of His Majesty. 

" Lastly, asked why he had not attempted to go to 
Procida, and there, taking up arms for His Majesty, to 
withdraw from the coercions of the Government, he replied 
that he had not done it for fear of being ill-received." 

After which Thurn reports that the Court, by a majority 
of votes, condemned the prisoner as guilty of high treason 
to the punishment of ignominious death. 2 

The sentence, Thurn proceeds to report, was submitted 
to Nelson and approved by him, " ordering that I should 
have it carried out at five o'clock of this same day, by 
hanging him at the fore-yard-arm, and leaving him hanging 
till sunset, at which hour, having the cord cut, he was to 
be let fall into the sea. 3 

" At one o'clock I received the above order : at half 
past one the traitor Francesco Caracciolo was taken on 
board my ship and put in Cappella, and at five, according 
to the order, the sentence was executed." 

Caracciolo had no advocate, there were no witnesses, and, 
as far as we know, no verbatim report of the proceedings. 

1 In fact the rabble of Ruffo could hardly be called "royal 
troops." Observe that no special mention is made of the action 
at Procida, where in fact the enemy's fleet were all under English 

DUMAS, IV., p. in. Hamilton confirms this of the majority 
of votes, writing to Acton the same day. So that the verdict was 
not unanimous. 

8 Despatches, III., p. 398 : see for Nelson's two orders to Count 


Four of the officers voted for death, and two against, and 
that is all we know; the balance went against him by 
one vote. 

The speech attributed to Caracciolo at his trial by 
Lieutenant Parsons in his Nelsonian Reminiscences is 
obviously impossible as it stands, and cannot be taken 
into account for that reason. 

Indeed, Caracciolo, faint and worn as he was, before 
a tribunal whom he considered his personal enemies 
and certainly his late opponents in bitter civil war, may 
well have felt it futile to say anything further. If he 
used anything like the defence which Parsons attributes 
to him * (excepting the latter part obviously impossible), 
he spoke like the brave patriot he was, and that every 
Neapolitan knew him to be ; if he said nothing, it was 
natural enough. 

"He seems half dead from fatigue," wrote Hamilton 
to Acton while the trial was going on ; and adds : " He 
desired to be judged by English officers." 

This shows that Caracciolo, although he regarded the 
English as false friends of his country, bore them no 
personal grudge for it, and would sooner have trusted 
his life to their judgment than to that of the court pre- 
sided over by Thurn. 

That the jealousy between Caracciolo, together with 
other officers of the Neapolitan service, and Thurn, Acton, 
and others who came from Tuscany and were regarded 
at Naples as foreigners and adventurers, and as such 
were especially fondled by the queen that this jealousy 
was no new pretext put forward at the last moment by 
Caracciolo, but was a thing notorious in Naples, is shown 
by a letter addressed to Caracciolo and printed during 

1 G. S. PARSONS : Nelsonian Reminiscences. Leaves from 
Memory's Log. London, 1843, p. 2. "I am accused," said the 
prince, " of deserting my king in distress, and leaguing with his 
enemies. The accusation is so far false, that the king deserted me 
and all his faithful subjects . . /' etc. 


the Republic by Andrea Mazzitelli, a distinguished officer 
in the Neapolitan navy. 1 

Mazzitelli, who calls Caracciolo "father and master," 
and acknowledges himself debtor of all that he is to 
his teacher, addresses him as holding " the first place in 
the little number of our brave ancient patriots, having 
always shown devotion and zeal for justice and for the 
good of our country " ; and Mazzitelli goes on to speak 
of " the intrigues and cabals of an infamous court, and 
its turbid waters stirred upby a handful of vagabond and 
greedy Etruscans sworn together to lower and darken 
your glory and your well proven courage." "Tuscan 
tyrants," he calls them again, and of these the chief 
were undoubtedly Acton and Thurn. What foundation 
Mazzitelli had for his assertions is another point. It is 
clear that there was a gulf fixed between the Neapolitan 
patriots (taking the word in its strict sense of lovers of 
their country) and the Tuscan adventurers ; and under 
the queen's way of treating, as Buonaparte told her, 
" affairs of State as though they were affairs of the heart," 
jealousies were rife on all sides. Moreover, Mazzitelli's 
published letter was now of course common property, and 
we may be sure that the royalist agents in Naples will 
not have failed to forward copies to Palermo, as they 
did of the Monitore, of the proclamations and other 
publications of the republicans. It is no wonder that 
Caracciolo objected to being judged by Thurn. 

When the sentence was read to him, he was asked 
as a matter of form whether he had any request to make. 
Caracciolo asked for another trial, and to be judged not 
under the presidency of his personal enemy, nor by 
officers with whom he had so lately been engaged in 
deadly civil war ; but in vain. He requested that at least 
he might be shot as a military offender, and not hanged 
like a malefactor. But Nelson, who, of his own free will 

1 Quoted by MARESCA : La Difesa Marittima della Repubblica 
Na^oletana nel 1799, Arch. Stor. Nap., XI. 4, p. 770. 


and device, had added to the bitter sentence even the 
final clause condemning the body to be cast into the sea, 
was deaf to every request. Thurn himself pointed out that 
it was the custom to allow condemned prisoners twenty- 
four hours' respite in order to prepare for death and 
receive spiritual assistance ; but although even Sir William 
Hamilton seconded Thurn, Nelson remained inexorable. 1 

Nelson, and Nelson alone, could have saved the life of 
Caracciolo. His influence with the Court at this moment 
was absolutely unbounded. A generous man or a humane 
man would have made the attempt ; a mere politician 
would have made it. If Nelson cannot be blamed for 
his absolute ignorance of the situation, of the movement 
he called rebellion, and the men he called rebels, and 
if one cannot even require that an ignorant man be 
conscious of his ignorance and diffident in matters of which 
he cannot judge, he must be blamed for his cruel haste 
to put Caracciolo to the most ignominious death he could 
devise not ashamed to follow it up with an indignity 
to be wreaked upon a lifeless body, and the denial of 
Christian burial. That the throwing of the body into 
the sea in Nelson's own mind added a real horror to the 
sentence, we may guess from his own dying prayer a 
very few years later, when he begged Captain Hardy 
not to have his body thrown into the sea. 

And allowing even that Caracciolo was a rebel and a 
traitor, and that the Bourbon king could not be expected 
to see him in any other light, who obliged Nelson to 
constitute himself, as Villari puts it, "the Bourbon 
executioner " ? What had an English admiral to do with 
the trial and punishment of Neapolitan subjects? The 
wonder, in short, is not that Caracciolo was condemned 
and executed, but that Nelson lent himself with such 
fierce eagerness to play the ugly part he played. 2 

1 DUMAS, IV., p. in. Hamilton to Acton, June 2gth, 1799. 
3 PASQUALE VILLARI : Nelson, Caracciolo e la Refiubblica 
Nafioletana (1799). Nuova Antologia, 16 Febbraio, 1899. 



But Nelson had lost his compass, lost the measure of 
his place and that of others in the sum of things, and 
a secret malady of the soul was the seat of the moral 
blindness that he betrayed in these disastrous and fatal 
days of his triumph over the Neapolitan patriots. 

" All that Lord Nelson thinks and does," wrote Hamilton 
to Acton after the giving of the sentence upon Caracciolo, 
" is dictated to him by his conscience, and by his honour, 
and I believe that in the end his decisions will be acknow- 
ledged as the best that could have been taken." l 

And no doubt Nelson felt himself to be acting completely 
under the dictates of conscience and honour when he did 
what both conscience and honour should have forbidden 
him to do. It only shows how far conscience and honour 
may be astray in any point if they are not the one right 
line for every part of conduct, and if they are not guided 
by the golden rule that should make us endeavour to see 
our fellow men not only through our own, but as far as 
possible through their own eyes. 

Nelson was not incapable of perceiving that the law 
does not always achieve justice ; it was at this very time 
that he wrote to the Duke of Clarence, a propos of his 
own disobedience to Lord Keith's orders : " Although a 
Military tribunal may think me criminal, the world will 
approve of my conduct " 2 ; and again : " My conduct is 
measured by the Admiralty by the narrow rule of law, 
when I think it should have been done by that of common 
sense. . . ." 3 If common sense is above the law, how 
much more is common humanity and the great unwritten 
law of which all human laws are " but broken lights " and 
partial reflections? 

Meanwhile Hamilton himself was growing uneasy at the 
English position at Naples, and added to the above letter 
to Acton : " For the love of God, contrive that the King 

1 DUMAS, IV., p. in. 

9 Despatches, III., p. 410. About July i3th, 1799. 

3 Ibid., p. 460. Letter to Mr. Davison ; about August ajrd, 1799. 


come, at least on board the Foudroyant, and that if possible, 
his royal standard be run up. . . . The die is cast Now 
we must be as firm as we can." Even the night before, 
after the seizing of the republicans, he had finished his 
letter with the words : " we are all in mortal haste 
and anxiety \siamo tutti in una fretta ed inqnietudine 

While Nelson believed himself to be making a stern 
political example, Caracciolo was in fact put to death 
because the king and queen were afraid of him. 

In order to justify Nelson in this matter, some English 
writers have done what they could to take away the 
character of Caracciolo. The author of the well-known 
article in Blackwood } s Magazine went so far as to say : 
" few men who have passed under the hands of the hang- 
man ever better deserved that fate." J. Cordy Jeaffreson, 
in Lady Hamilton and Lord Nelson, devotes a chapter to 
Caracciolo so full of misstatements, false colouring, and 
ignorance of the circumstances, besides gratuitously 
abusive epithets thrown in to help to prejudice the unwary 
reader, that the book loses its pretension to be regarded 
as history, and admirers of Nelson can only be sorry to 
see him fallen into the hands of such an advocate. 

Professor Laughton speaks of Caracciolo as "haggard 
and worn by misery, privation and the sense of guilt." 
Why attribute to him a sense of guilt which there is 
no reason to suppose he felt, and which condemns him 
unheard? The Austrian, Von Helfert, with the kindred 
scope of excusing his heroine Maria Carolina, resorts to 
the same inexcusable method, and, taking as usual 
Caracciolo for his scapegoat, calls him a turncoat, a man 
without character, who played a wretched double game. 

Nelson, though he knew Caracciolo personally to a 
certain extent, had not the knowledge that Italian 
literature presents to our generation, and was more 
excusable when he passed his shallow judgment on him : 
"This man was fool enough to quit his master when 


he thought his case desperate " ; but even Nelson then 
added : "yet, in his heart, I believe he is no Jacobin." ] 

Nelson could not distinguish between patriotism and 
devotion to a king ; he was chief actor in a scene he 
took no trouble to understand or, more fairly, one 
should say he had little chance of understanding because 
he fell a victim from the outset to the deliberate wiles 
of the queen and her friends, who hedged him in and 
flattered him and primed him with their ideas till he had 
room for no others. He appears to have been absolutely 
under a spell ; no other Englishman who mingled in 
Neapolitan affairs after the Hamiltons were gone saw 
things from the Bourbon point of view. 

Caracciolo did not, in fact, desert his sovereign because 
he thought to better his fortune. When he had carried 
out all his instructions, effected the stormy passage to 
Palermo, and taken the vessels into port at Messina for 
repairs, he asked leave of absence to go to Naples to 
look after his own private affairs. Asked through Acton, 
it was granted through Acton, not without a spice of 
suspicion in the wording which cannot have failed to 
offend Caracciolo anew, smarting as he was under the 
slights recently put upon him at Naples. The personal 
interview with the king is quite apocryphal. 

It is worthy of note that from January i8th to the 
22nd, Caracciolo had in custody on board the Sannita, 
at Palermo, the vicar-general Pignatelli, who had fled 
from Naples. From him, or from others who shared 
his flight, Caracciolo would certainly have had an account 
of the burning of the fleet by the joint order of Nelson 
and the queen, or, as far as he knew, of Nelson alone. 

And here may be pointed out another instance of the 
Court policy of throwing the odium of their strongest 
measures upon the English. Witness the following re- 
markable passage in a letter from Ruffo to Acton 

1 Nelson to Earl Spencer, April 26th, 1799. 


(April 3rd, 1799): "Your Excellency must remember 
that the English have become hateful even to the well- 
disposed \anche ai buom~\, because they burned our 
fleet and burned it moreover where it spoiled the bottom 
[t fondi\ in the Gulf, and this offence must have pro- 
duced a certain coldness." 1 

Observe that Ruffo, in April, after the court-martial 
upon Commodore Campbell and Nelson's open protests, 
is still completely under the impression that the destruction 
of the fleet was due to the English. If Ruffo felt the 
thing so strongly as to be able to speak thus without 
disguise to Acton, what must not have been the feelings 
of Caracciolo a couple of months earlier, when the out- 
rage was still hot, as it were, touching him, moreover, 
far more nearly than it could touch Ruffo? 

On February 2nd Caracciolo cast anchor in the harbour 
of Messina. On the 4th he applied for leave, alluding 
to the circumstances of his family, and to matters to 
which, owing to the recent death of some of his nearest 
of kin, he was obliged to attend, and promising to return 
eventually to Messina. 2 

The suspicious queen saw here, and Acton affected to 
see, further proofs of the treachery already suggested 
to or imagined by her at Naples. Carolina knew 
that the slight had not been lost upon Caracciolo, and 
commented upon it to Ruffo later on. " All his rage," 
she wrote, " was at not having us embarked with him," 
and so far, perhaps, so true. But she puts her own 
construction upon Caracciolo's manifest indignation : " to 
have us at his disposal and at the disposal of his felon 
and traitor friends." 3 

But the queen was as far from the mark here as later 
on when she imagined Ruffo to be aiming at supreme 

1 Arch. Stor. Nap., VIII. 4, p. 623. 

1 MARESCA: Ricordi autografi deW Ammiraglio Francesco 
Caracciolo, Arch. Stor. Nap., X. i, p. 82. 
3 Arch. Stor. Nap., V. 3, p. 557. Queen to Ruffo, May 8th, 1799. 


power among the Jacobins, supported by the army of 
the Santa Fede \ 

As for the idea that Caracciolo left Palermo with the 
deliberate intention of taking the side of the Republic, 
it is not as yet warranted by any evidence, and he is 
therefore entitled to the belief that he went upon urgent 
family affairs. Such slight evidence as there is points 
to his having lived privately at first, and his neutral 
attitude seems to have raised some suspicion of him, so 
that he demanded his passports in order to go away. 
But the republicans were not likely to let him go, and 
it must have been the more difficult for him to resist 
their pressure, inasmuch as he was genuinely loved 
and looked up to by all classes, and is alluded to over 
and over again by contemporary writers as il nostro 
Caracciolo^ which has something of the force of " our own 
Caracciolo." To confirm this position comes the assertion of 
General Macdonald, 1 who, after a testimony to Caracciolo's 
talent and courage, comments on the manner of his 
death, and adds : " a death with which I have reproached 
myself all the more bitterly because it was I who overcame 
his resistance in drawing him into our party " ; and on 
the preceding page : " I had succeeded in persuading 
Admiral Caracciolo to take service in the new marine." 

The chief note of the queen's accusations against 
Caracciolo is his ingratitude. If Caracciolo had been one 
of those mere danglers upon the skirts of royalty who 
looked obsequiously for crumbs that might fall from royal 
hands, and lived thereby, there might be some substance 
in such an accusation. One would suppose him to have 
been in the king's debt for his rank and his honours, or 
perhaps for the confidence reposed in him, whatever it 
was worth. 

Born of one of the first noble families of Naples, 
Caracciolo had won his other rank and honours in honest 

1 Souvenirs du Marechal Macdonald, Due de Tarente. Paris, 
1892 [MS. finished in 1826], pp. 70 and 69. 


and most effectual service. Such men are creditors, not 
debtors, to their country and to their king. Such, more- 
over, was his passionate love of the sea and its battle 
and adventure, that he had constructed at his own ex- 
pense merchant vessels which he armed and fitted out 
for the defence of his country against the Barbary pirates. 
As for his " Jacobinism," Marchese Maresca points out a 
curious trait in all the documents issued by Caracciolo as 
well as by his pupil and fellow-worker Mazzitelli and a 
few others namely, that while using the republican style of 
dating then in vogue, he signed the year as the Year I. of 
Neapolitan liberty or the Neapolitan Republic, and not 
as most of the others did, and as was inscribed upon the 
coins, the Year VII. of French liberty. It is a trifle, but 
it tends to show the definite patriotism of the man. 

What exact part Lady Hamilton bore in the work 
initiated at Naples by the arrival of the English fleet 
can only be a matter of speculation or inference until 
further documents are brought to light. Her letters of 
this date to the queen are not at present forthcoming. 
Certain it is that on that fatal Saturday when Caracciolo 
was put to death she wrote three letters to the queen, 
which brought her the following answer from Palermo : 

" I have received with infinite gratitude your dear 
obliging letters, three of Saturday, and one of anterior 
date, bearing the list of the Jacobins arrested, who form 
part of the worst we have had. I have seen also the 
sad end of the crazy Caracciolo. I comprehend all that 
your excellent heart must have suffered, and that augments 
my gratitude. I see perfectly what you point out to 
me, and am penetrated with gratitude for it . . . " 

Lady Hamilton, according to her own letter to 
Mr. Greville and to a letter from Sir William to Lord 
Grenville, 1 was charged by the queen " to keep up a 

1 JEAFFKESON: Lady Hamilton and Lord Nelson. Letter to 
C. Greville, July iQth, Vol. II., p. 109. u Separate and Secret " letter 
accompany ing Hamilton's despatch of July I4th. 



regular daily correspondence with her Majesty," and, 
as Lady Hamilton put it, "she gives me the orders 
the same" i.e. by a messenger every night 

One would fain know what especial service Lady 
Hamilton rendered the queen on that Saturday for which 
she was so penetrated with gratitude. It is enough to 
read the above-mentioned letter of Lady Hamilton to 
Mr. Greville to perceive with what a light heart, with 
what an utter absence of misgivings or compunction 
this ignorant adventuress rushed in where angels might 
have feared to tread. The letter reads like the compo- 
sition of a heartless and ambitious schoolgirl, with its set 
phrases and undisguised self-complacency. But when one 
recollects that the writer was a woman of thirty-five or 
so, wielding influences of life and death among men 
who but a few months since had been of her friends 
and acquaintance, her conscienceless, rough-and-ready 
meddling makes one shudder. To this woman indeed 
it seems that all the world was but a stage, the men 
and women merely players accessory to her own impor- 
tant part. 

"Everything goes on well here," she wrote on July I9th, 
when the executions were in full swing, "... Sir William 
and Lord Nelson with Acton are the King's counsellors, 
and you may be assured that the future government 
will be most just and solid. . . . 

" But what a glory to our Good King, to our Country, 
to ourselves, that we our brave fleet, our great Nelson 
have had the happiness of restoring the King to his throne, 
to the Neapolitans their much loved King, and been the 
instrument of giving a future solid and just government 
to the Neapolitans ! 

"... The guilty are punished and the faithful are 

"... I am quite worn out. For I am interpreter to 
Lord Nelson, the King and the Queen l ; and altogether 
1 The queen was at Palermo. 


feel quite shattered ; but as things go well, that keeps 
me up. . . . " 

Lady Morgan, who was at Naples some twenty years 
after these events, has left it on record that when she 
was herself too young to understand political matters 
she "listened with admiration to Lady Hamilton as she 
described to her the beauties of the shores of Naples, 
and her own distinguished position, when during the calm 
of many a moonlight night, she had sat in the English 
Admiral's ship, on the right of the Hero of the Nile, 
and sung over the waves of the Mediterranean the national 
hymn of Rule Britannia which was chorussed by the 
whole ship's crew," while all around in their stifling float- 
ing prisons languished the men in the ruling of whose 
fate Britain was made to play so black a part. 

No wonder that Lady Morgan later on "held her 
memory in utter abhorrence " ! x 

About the same time that Lady Hamilton was writing 
her letter to Mr. Greville, Nelson wrote to her mother at 
Palermo : " Our dear Lady is also, I can assure you, 
perfectly well, but has her time so much taken up with 
excuses from rebels, Jacobins and fools, that she is every 
day most heartily tired. Our conversation is, as often 
as we are liberated from these teazers, of you and of your 
other friends in the house at Palermo ; and I hope we 
shall very soon return to see you. Till then recollect that 
we are restoring happiness to the kingdom of Naples^ and 
doing good to millions? 2 And the same day, in the 
nai'vest way, he writes to Lord Keith : 3 " thank God, 
all goes on well, and I hope this country will be happier 
than ever ; I am sure it is their Majesties' desire to make 
it so. The feudal system is fast breaking up^ the entire 
change is already made in the Capital." 

1 LADY MORGAN: Italy. Paris, 1821. Vol. III., p. 156. 

2 Author's italics. 

3 Despatches, III., p. 411. To Lord Keith, July i4th, 1799, and 
to Earl Spencer, July i3th, 1799, p. 406, 

4 Author's italics. 


He has not the faintest idea of the fact that this 
breaking up of the feudal system, as far at it went, had 
been the chef (Tceuvre of the Republic, and fancies it 
has been achieved in less than three weeks by the arrival 
of the British fleet. Of course the execution of a score 
or more of the principal nobility was one way of " fast 
breaking up " the system, but they were not even executed 
yet In truth, it suited the Court very well that the 
system should not return to its primitive force, and 
the queen wrote to Ruffo, with hypocritical respect for the 
promises of the Republic, that they could not return 
to the former state without gravely offending the un- 
privileged classes, because the revolutionary government 
had so solemnly proclaimed its abolition, but that rights 
and privileges should be accorded to all who had suffered 
on the royal side ! x 

These letters of Lady Hamilton and Nelson read as 
though the writers fondly thought they had but to appear 
for everybody to live happy ever afterwards. 

On July 8th Ferdinand arrived at Naples and took 
up his quarters on board the Foudroyant, being afraid 
to go on shore. 

The following day, when some of the officers were 
standing on the deck, fixing their eyes upon something 
that was drawing rapidly nearer across the waves, they 
saw a dead body upright from the waist above the water, 
with open eyes and flying hair, moving swiftly towards 
the English vessel. The king was informed of the 

1 HELFERT : Fabrizio Ruffo, etc., p. 246. Queen to Ruffo, 
May 8th. And MARESCA : Arch. Stor. Nap., V. 3, p. 559. 

And while Nelson was congratulating the Restoration upon this 
"breaking up of the feudal system," and the queen was taking 
advantage of the work of the Republic, Giuseppe Albanese was 
hanged " for having been a member of the government, and noted 
among the former prisoners of State ; for having drawn up pro- 
clamations and edicts against the Monarchy, and for having 
published the scheme for the abolition of the feudal system and 
of primogeniture. . . ." See SANSONE; Avvenimenti, etc., 
P- 2 53- 

Q * 

a m 
S < 



extraordinary appearance, and came up to look over 
the side. For a moment he was seized with terror. 
" Caracciolo ! " he stammered, recognising the features. 
" What does that dead man want ? " In the horrified silence 
that fell upon the bystanders, a priest's voice alone was 
heard : " Sire, I think he comes to demand Christian 
burial." " Let him have it," gasped the king, and turned 
away ; but afterwards he rallied from his fright and laughed, 
and said that the corpse had come to beg his pardon. 1 

The sailors and fishermen of the coast, who were all 
greatly attached to Caracciolo, carried his body to the 
little church of the fisher-folk, Santa Maria la Catena, 
beside what was then the shore of Santa Lucia, and laid 
him in his grave with tears. 2 

1 COLLETTA: (Ed. Capolago) Storia del Reame di Nafioli, Vol. II., 
p. 1 60. Colletta had the details of this incident from Captain Hardy, 
who was present See also CLARKE AND M'ARTHUR, II., p. 89. 

2 The Church of Santa Maria delle Grazie a Catena was founded 
at the expense of the sailors and fishermen of Santa Lucia in 1576. 
In 1873 the building was enlarged, and during the work upon the 
foundations a small gravestone was found with the inscription, 
"Francesco Caracciolo, 1799" and a skeleton. By order of the 
architect and in his presence the stone and the skeleton were 
placed in a small tomb behind the high altar. See La Rivoluzione 
Napoletana del 1799, Albo ^pubblicato nella ricorrenza del i 
Centenario della Repubblica Napoletana, a cura di B. Croce, 
G. Ceci, M. D'Ayala, S. Di Giacomo. Napoli, 1899, Fasc. 13, 

P- 53- 

The body of Caracciolo, however, does not now rest behind the 
high altar, but under the left chancel wall just below the altar 
step, where a marble tablet in the wall marks his tomb, with this 
inscription : 




In April, 1899, there was an old verger of seventy-five in this 



After the death of Caracciolo and the "weeding out 
and annihilation " of all the more capable and energetic 
naval officers, disappeared, as Maresca says, 1 "all that 
intrepid generation of men whose vigilance had availed 
to wipe out the reproach of subjection to the Barbary 
pirates. The pirates now resumed once more their ancient 
power, and within a few years Tunis alone continually 
threatened the southern coasts of Italy with fifteen little 
pirate fleets which almost blocked the ports of the Kingdom 
of Naples. The Neapolitan ships did not even venture 
out along the coasts for fear of falling into the hands of 
the pirates who infested the sea in triumph in sight 
of the very capital ; and the population were obliged to 
defend themselves as best they could against their in- 
cursions. The peninsula of Sorrento, which might have 
maintained a fleet of more than a hundred vessels, had 
not so much as one upon the sea ; and all the trade of 
the kingdom languished in consequence, the public distress 
increased daily, and thirty thousand sailors were reduced 
to starvation. The sole vessel which attempted to check 
the audacity of the pirates and took not a few of them, 
was Portuguese. 

"The Captain, who in the spring of 1798 had carried 
the Neapolitan flag to the terror of the pirates within 
actual sight of Tunis, was no more." 

church who remembered, and had, in fact, been one of the scholars 
of the priest Pasquale Argentino, who gave the benediction to the 
body of Caracciolo. This man helped to lay the bones in their 
present resting-place. He remembered the portiere of the Con- 
grega, or Fraternity of Santa Maria la Catena, who buried the body 
when it was brought in from the sea, recalling how he used to be 
called // Pazzariello, the mad-cap. 
1 MARESCA: Difesa Marittima, etc., Arch. Stor. Nap., XI. 4. 


The executions begin Massa, Manthone, Eleonora Pimentel, 
Serra, Colonna, Natale, Pacifico, Fiani, Genzano, Pagano, 
Cirillo, Ciaja, Pigliacelli The populace The Bianchi. 

WHILE Captain Foote with the Seahorse had been 
despatched on June 28th to fetch the king from 
Palermo, immense numbers of prisoners were carried on 
board the English ships, arrested chiefly by the caprice 
of the mob, some because of their late public employment, 
but the more part (as even the very English came in 
course of time to perceive) either to gratify private grudges 
or to serve as a demonstration of the loyalty of their 
captors, who at the same time profited immediately by 
the sack of their houses. 

The great anxiety of the royalist rabble now was to 
exhibit their loyalty and establish thereby a claim to 
rewards. Among the papers of Lady Hamilton in the 
British Museum are many letters from these people, 
asking her to recommend them to the royal favour, or 
to find places for their friends. The surest way to the 
queen's favour was to show zeal in hunting down Jacobins, 
and neither the English nor the Junta of State were 
troubled with misgivings as to the justice of the arrests, 
so that the field for the display of loyalty was ample ; 
and what Nelson had done in the gross, the fawning 
royalists and the bloodthirsty delirious populace hastened 
to emulate in detail. 

The queen had long marked down a list of the noblest 
names of the Republic, and kept it against the day ot 



vengeance ; to these she was now busily adding, while 
at Naples Lady Hamilton made lists of the prisoners, 
and sent them to her royal friend at Palermo. 

There does not seem to be on record one instance of 
Lady Hamilton's having used her great influence to 
mitigate the horrors by which she was surrounded, or 
to obtain pardon or the mitigation of a sentence for 
one of the unfortunate prisoners : yet she had known 
many of them personally, and should have known, if 
it had been in her to know, what manner of men they 

The public executions began on July 7th, the day 
before the arrival of the king, on a Sunday, that the 
good populace might the better profit by the spectacle 
outside Porta Capuana. On the I3th Padre Belloni was 
hanged in the same place. He used to preach in the 
Largo del Palazzo, before the tree of liberty, and with 
the crucifix in his hand declaimed against the evils of 
despotic government, enlarging on the blessings of liberty 
and justice, and affirming that Christ and His saints had 
always preached brotherhood and equality. 

The trials proceeded ad floras, 1 and were conducted 
in the most arbitrary and summary way. Witnesses 
found it worth their while to give false testimony, and 
many prisoners, perceiving only too clearly that trial 
was but a form preliminary to certain condemnation, 
took no pains to call witnesses or to attempt to plead 
their own cause to deaf ears. 

Conforti has printed many hitherto unpublished docu- 
ments relative to these trials and executions, found 
chiefly in the register of the confraternity of the Bianchi 
or Padri Confortatori, whose office it was to comfort the 

1 LUIGI CONFORTI : Na-poli nel 1799, p. 148. See the note, 
quoted by Conforti, of Lafragola, prosecutor [for the State Junta, 
where he alludes to the " Supreme Junta of State which proceeds 
ad horas against the prisoners of State proved guilty and imprisoned 
[liquid ati e carcerati]" this being previous to trial ! 


Beheaded, August 20, 1799, in his twenty-fifth year. 
(From a miniature in the possession of the Cassano Fonily.) 

[To face p 344. 


condemned, receiving their confessions, carrying their 
last messages to friends or family, and disposing them 
to die in resignation and faith. So that though the 
Bourbons are said to have carefully destroyed such 
official records as there were of these State trials, many 
thoroughly authentic details have nevertheless reached 
posterity. Thus we know that at the time of the! first 
executions the Bianchi made a complaint to the Junta 
of the indecorous conduct of the hangman, who, in his 
eagerness to secure his perquisites, immediately stripped 
the dead bodies absolutely naked, in spite of the fact 
that according to the law all but those born in Naples 
were condemned to remain suspended for twenty-four 

At the same time the Bianchi begged to be allotted 
a little more time for the exercise of their spiritual offices 
with the condemned. The Junta promised to take steps 
for the better observance of decency, but professed them- 
selves unable to grant the demand for the prolonging 
of the time in Cappella (in chapel), as those last solemn 
and terrible hours were called. The vindictive spirit 
of the king and queen had communicated itself with 
wonderful readiness to their servants. There was all 
the leisure possible, now that the fighting was done, 
and the republicans loaded with chains in the prisons 
or on board the English and other ships ; but not another 
hour could be granted to the condemned. " These 
summary trials," says De Nicola, " are like those held 
on the field of battle in sight of the enemy." 

Out of one of these letters from the Junta to the BiancJii, 
Conforti reproduces the following passage, which throws 
light on the way in which these sacrifices to the royal 
passions were regarded by those who had the disposing 
of them : 

" I have to inform you that the execution must be 
carried out absolutely at twelve o'clock because afterwards 
there is to be the drawing at the Lotto> and therefore 


I beg you to send at once the exhorting Fathers to the 
prison of the Vicaria." " And thus," comments Conforti, 
" the good populace would not miss the double diversion 
of the gallows and the lottery." 

The greater part of the republicans who died were 
virtually condemned before their pretended trial. In 
the case of some of the military trials the Bianchi were 
in waiting while the court affected to deliberate. "The 
Bianchi undergo the penance of staying shut up in the 
Castle [of the Carmine], during the time of the Council," 
writes De Nicola, " and they fast all the time too, because 
the confraternity, having no more funds, no longer supplies 
them with their dinner." 1 By the middle of October 
they began to complain of the intolerable expenses they 
were put to for the continual executions. By the I3th 
they had spent seven hundred ducats on carriages and 
in subsidies to the poor of the bereaved families. But 
" they complained still more of the way in which they 
were treated, of the impertinences they received in the 
Castle, and of the small respect shewn to them ; besides 
the great inconvenience and the danger that their health 
may suffer, assisting such unfortunates, who are kept 
bound down to the ground, full of dirt and sores, in 
such an infamous place that it is not possible to celebrate 
the Holy Sacrament there. One of the Superiors said 
that they have almost a mind to give up that work." 2 

The condemned officers were allowed no more than 
an hour and a half or so in which to prepare for death. 
It was in bitter comment on this ugly haste that General 
Massa, condemned officially late in the afternoon and led 
out to die on the terrace of the Carmine at sunset on 
August 1 4th, said to the executioner : " Make haste, for 
I have no time to lose ! " 

Some days afterwards, when details of what had passed 
at the trial began to be known, De Nicola noted in his 

1 Diario for October 2;th. 
8 Ibid,, October ijth. 


diary that Massa had said, that what he deplored was 
that he had sacrificed so many by making that capitula- 
tion, since it was he that made it, but that he had trusted 
the word of five Powers, which he never could have 
supposed would fail him. " I," said he, " had powder, 
cannon-balls, cannon, men were not lacking who was to 
prevent my holding out in the Castle ? At the worst, 
I could have left this world by blowing up the Castle, 
but I should not have died condemned as a Jacobin." 1 

Public opinion, noted De Nicola, took it ill that the 
capitulation was not observed, because it was said, how- 
ever true it may be that one does not capitulate with 
rebels, they had the forts in their hands, they could have 
held out and have done damage to the city, and they 
surrendered by capitulating with the Vicar-General Ruffo 
and with the Russian and Turkish generals who signed 
the treaty. If this then be not observed, it is a breach of 
universal right. " This," adds the diarist, " is the common 
talk, which gives rise to some anxiety." 2 

Manthone, it was said, asked his judges whether the 
king's capitulation, made by his vicar and generals, was 
to be observed. Being answered No, he replied : " Then 
I shall always maintain him to be a tyrant," and he 
would say no more. 

Meanwhile, on August 3rd, Diomede Marinelli wrote 
in his journal : " Many rebels detained upon the ships 
and included in the capitulation, 3 have been landed and 

1 The truth of De Nicola's impressions and of his information 
generally is confirmed at times in a really remarkable way. In the 
present connection observe Micheroux's report of Massa's words 
to him on June igth (Compendia, p. 456) : " . . . he began to tell 
me that he would have surrendered the Castle from the beginning 
if the French had consented ; that the garrison had no lack of 
arms, nor provisions, nor means of defence, while at the worst 
there were all the last resorts of desperation." 

3 Diario, August i4th, I7th, i8th, etc. 

3 Note the general public impression that the capitulation had 
not been annulled, but violated. 


taken to the Castles, and among the rest Don Domenico 
Cirillo and Don Mario Pagano." 

Until this time Pagano had been unable to persuade 
himself that the capitulation, however infringed hitherto, 
could be violated altogether. Rodin6, who was with him 
on board the Audace early in July, tells how they stood 
one day together on the deck discussing the possibility 
of a complete violation of the treaty, and how Pagano, 
in his placid rectitude of mind, could scarcely be shaken, 
even then, in his confidence in human faith and upright- 
ness. His face clouded for an instant as the appalling 
doubt appeared to him ; but he banished it, and said 
cheerfully that they would go to Toulon, and that there, 
as he could do nothing else to help his companions, he 
would set up a fencing-school and share his gains with 
his fellow-exiles. 1 

Pagano used to practise fencing by way of counter- 
balance in an otherwise too sedentary life, and had become 
a great adept in the art, to the extreme disdain of 
De Nicola, who noted this fact, 2 and evidently thought 
Pagano very undignified and not a little mad. But the 
lesser man of the law, to judge him by his diary, which 
is all that survives of his life here, must have been prim 
and conservative to the last degree a man whose dignity 
perhaps required all the support he could give it, a true 
enemy of new-fangled notions, but a good man, sober 
and humane. Pagano, in his cultured leisure, wrote poetry 
and plays, which he used to have acted in the private 
theatre of his villa ; wherefore De Nicola says that he 
had a very high opinion of himself, and aimed at being 
the Voltaire of Italy. 

Every day during that July and the early part of 
August, on those hot summer afternoons, boats plied to 
and fro among the ships, and fetched away those of the 

1 GAETANO RODIN6 : Racconti Storici ad Aristide suo Figlio, 
Arch. Stor. Nap., VI. 4, p. 629. 
* Diario, October 29th. 


prisoners who were to appear before the Junta, until, out 
of some fifteen hundred who were crowded upon the 
transports, only about five hundred were left, and, as Croce 
says : "It appeared to the Junta that the rest, the refuse, 
as it were, of the rebels, might depart for France." l Each 
one of this remnant was made to sign what was curiously 
called an obbliganza penes acta, whereby on the one hand 
the judge, and on the other the prisoner, renounced any 
possible advantages of a trial, the prisoner accepting the 
condition of an exile, and swearing, under pain of death, 
never more to set foot within the kingdom. After so 
many weeks of terror the unfortunate prisoners began 
to breathe. Among those who signed the obbliganza 
was Eleonora Pimentel. Next day, however, an officer 
of the Junta reappeared, declaring that ten of the 
prisoners, whose names he gave, would not be allowed 
to sail. In vain they all protested that the acts were 
signed and the contract made ; the defenceless had no 
rights. The official insisted that it had been a mistake, 
and that these ten names had been found in the royal 
list ; and the unhappy ten were carried on shore. 
Eleonora was not one of them. The ceremony of signing 
the obbliganza was repeated, and the prisoners were assured 
that no more " mistakes " of the kind would occur. In 
spite of the twice-signed compact, the official, after two 
days, appeared again, and this time it was Eleonora 
Pimentel who was taken away. At last, on August I2th, 
the remnant was allowed to sail for France. 

Eleonora Pimentel was brought before the infamous 
Speciale, already held in terror and abhorrence for his 
doings at Ischia and Procida. There is no account of the 
trial, but she was condemned to death on August i/th, 
together with Gennaro Serra (with whom she had had 
the argument about the cavalry), with Giuliano Colonna, 
with the Bishop of Vico Equense, the two bankers 

1 BENEDETTO CROCE : Studii Storici, etc., p. 69, et seq. 


Domenico and Antonio Piatti (father and son), Nicola 
Pacifico, and several others. 

Eleonora, who was of noble birth, and whose husband, 
Pasquale Tria de Solis, had been a Neapolitan officer and 
noble, demanded to be beheaded rather than hanged; 
but in these matters the Junta was extremely punc- 
tilious, and since by birth, although naturalised, she 
was Portuguese, her request was denied. 

A certain Matthew Wade, whose letters to Lady 
Hamilton throw an ugly light on her character and his 
own, wrote to her at this time : " the great question is, 
who] is to be hanged, and who is to be beheaded. Few 
or none dispute that they don't merit death, but to prolong 
the moment. . . ." l A joke very worthy of one of the 
paladins of Ferdinand in its grinning callousness, and 
worthy of her to whom, sure of sympathy, it was confided 
with others of the same sort. 

But let the reader bear in mind that the privilege was 
no mere matter of honour, and that hanging was not the 
decent and comparatively humane operation it is now 
in English prisons. The present writer has heard, from 
an eye-witness, a description of the hanging of Agesilao 
Milano, the soldier who attempted to shoot Ferdinand II. 
at a review in 1857. The gallows resembled those in the 
prints of the last century a tall, upright " tree " with one 
arm, from which the sufferer was suspended. To reach this 
there was a long ladder, and at the execution the hangman, 
having bound the arms of his prisoner, blindfolded him and 
adjusted the rope round his neck, and then preceded him 
up the ladder, leading the prisoner by the rope, closely 
followed by the tirapiedi (literally, pull-feet], his assistant. 

1 ALFRED MORRISON : Hamilton and Nelson Papers, Vol. II., 
p. 68. See also passages quoted from these letters by F. P. BADHAM : 
Nelson at Naples, p. 48 ; notably this : " I have here your friend 
Monsignore Gambone, and as he has some propriety, I have put 
two miserable fellows in the same prison to share his meals" 
Was the man born who could have ventured to write so to Eleonora 
Pimentel ? Monsignor Gambone was Bishop of Capri. 


On arriving near the top, the hangman scrambled up on 
to the cross-beam and made fast the rope ; then, at a sign 
from him, the tirapiedi suddenly pushed the prisoner off 
the ladder, adroitly catching him by the feet as he fell, 
and swinging with him into space. At the same time the 
hangman from above scrambled down and seated himself 
astraddle on the shoulders of the victim, and the three 
swung to and fro in sight of an immense multitude, 
jamming, struggling, and pulling till life was gone. 

To this horrible death Eleonora Pimentel went forth 
serenely on August 2Oth, only asking for a cup of coffee 
before going, saying to her fellow sufferers and to those 
they were leaving behind : " Forsan et haec olim meminisse 
juvabit ! " 

For the execution of August 2Oth, comprising as it did 
eight persons whose fate, for various reasons, aroused an 
intense excitement in the populace, the Bianchi had 
petitioned that it might take place within the walls of 
the Carmine, " representing that the sufferers, obliged to 
die in public, died in despair because of the insults of 
the populace." 1 

But petitions of this kind were never listened to, and 
the execution took place in the Mercato, the large, squalid 
piazza before the Church of the Carmine, where, notwith- 
standing the broiling heat, the concourse of people was 
enormous. The whole great square was surrounded by 
regular troops and Sanfedisti^ besides two regiments of 
cavalry, and was commanded by the guns of the Carmine, 
within whose walls other troops in reserve stood under 
arms in case of any tumult. 2 

1 Diarto, August igth. 

2 This display of force was but to ensure the carrying out of the 
execution. When once the victims were despatched, scarcely a 
soldier was left to preserve order in the piazza. Thus it came 
about that horrible outrages were perpetrated upon those dead 
bodies which were left hanging for twenty-four hours to be the 
scorn and sport of the vile populace. The worst instance was that 
of Nicola Fiani, a captain of cavalry. We have it from more than. 


Giuliano Colonna and Gennaro Serra were the first, 
and were beheaded. When Serra came out, blindfolded, 
from the guard-room of the Carmine, whence the prisoners 
issued one by one with the Bianchi as their turn came, 
and heard the cries of the mob all eager for the show, he 
said bitterly : " I have always desired their welfare, and 
they are rejoicing at my death ! " "A good young fellow," 
Marinelli wrote in his journal, " of good sense, beloved by 
all, and full of literary 'culture though so young." 

The rest were hanged. Among them was Michele 
Natale, Bishop of Vico, on whose shoulders the hangman 
performed all sorts of antics, saying he might never again 
have the good luck to ride a bishop. 

" The bishop of Vico was perforce a jacobin," wrote 
Marinelli, " because he had been persecuted." The good 
old priest, Nicola Pacifico, who followed, had also " suffered 
many years' imprisonment as a pretended traitor. He 
was seventy-three, white-haired, and so fat that he could 
hardly move. When the French came, and let him out 

one diary of the time, and from the register of the Bianchi, that 
on August 29th the hangman stripped all the four who were hanged 
that day, so that three went to their nameless grave in St. Alessio 
al Lavinaio without even a shirt; and the body of Fiani, not a 
citizen, remained hanging naked in sight of the idle crowd. The 
lazzari began insulting the dead body, pushing, pulling, jeering. 
The fierce game grew upon them ; they cut and slashed at it with 
knives, and finished by leaving nothing hanging but the bones, 
while they went about the lower quarters of the town carrying 
the flesh on the points of their knives. The liver was roasted in 
the Mercato beside the gallows, and eaten " by the vile mob of the 
sanfedisti" and a lazzaro who refused to eat of it was killed by 
the rest. 

Against such horrors no voice was raised until the Bianchi 
appealed to the Junta, requesting that the hangman might be 
"constrained to observe silence and use charity in that appalling 
function ; he having dared to throw up his cap and excite the 
people to indiscreet cries and to inhuman delight." The bodies 
were thenceforth buried immediately, but the outrage was not 
punished, because, it was declared, the good populace acted in 
a spirit of loyalty. SANSONE : Avvenimenti, p. CLXXXVII. 


of prison, he served in the national guard in spite of his 
years. He was all fire for liberty." He was an antiquary 
and a poet, learned in mathematics and botany. It was 
said that Cardinal Ruffo offered to save him on the usual 
condition that he should cry, " Viva il Re ! " in token that 
he renounced his principles ; " but," says Marinelli, " he 
never stooped to deny himself and his own sentiments." 
All honour to the brave old patriot ! 

Eleonora's turn came last. As she came out of the 
guard-house the crowd tried in vain to make her cry, " Viva 
il Re ! " but the Bianchi by signs imposed something of 
silence. She was dressed in mourning, in a gown that clung 
close about her feet. She mounted the ladder without 
faltering, saluting as best she could her friends and com- 
panions her fellow soldiers who she knew were there 
dead around her. " As she fell," wrote De Nicola, " the 
shouts of the populace went up to the very stars," and 
were heard at the monastery of the Santi Apostoli, about 
a mile away. 

The body hung there all day and until the next evening, 
and the people made ribald songs upon the woman who 
had done her utmost for their welfare. 1 She was buried 
in Santa Maria di Costantinopoli. 

1 B. CROCK : Studii Storici, etc., p. 73. 
"A signora donna Lionora, 
Che cantava 'ncopp "o triato, 
Mo abballa 'mmiezzo 'o Mercato. 
Viva, viva u papa santo, 
C'ha mannato i cannuncini, 
Pe' scaccia li giacubini ! 
Viva 'a forca e Masto Donato ; * 
Sant' Antonio sia priato ! 

My lady madam Leonora, 

Who used to sing on the stage of the theatre, 

Is dancing now in the middle of the Mercato. 

Hurrah, hurrah for the holy pope ! 

He sent us his little cannons, 

To drive away the jacobins ! 

Hurrah for the gallows and Mastro Donato 1 

Glory be to Sant' Antonio I 

* Generic name for the hangman. 



Another of the many victims was Filippo Marini, the 
only son of the Marchese Genzano, a lad of twenty ; his 
imputed crime had been the cutting off the head of a 
plaster statue of Carlo III. 1 

Settembrini has given us his father's recollection of 
Filippo Marini, a fellow prisoner, carried from the granili 
at Naples to the island of Santo Stefano. " A fine young 
fellow, half naked, but always merry, always singing and 
dancing. There came a sailor bringing things from 
Naples to many of the prisoners, and to him he said that 
his mother the Marchesa had given him a trunk full of 
things for him, but the Marchese had made him leave it 
behind and had given him a good beating, and that he 
had fled, and could give him nothing but a packet of 
powder and a pair of new shoes which the Marchesa had 
consigned to him after shutting the trunk, and he had put 
them in his pocket. The lad frowned at first, and then 
he smiled, powdered his hair, put on his new shoes and 
began dancing a minuet. A few days afterwards poor 
Filippetto was called to Naples and executed." 2 

When he came to the scaffold on October 1st, before 
laying his head on the block he kissed the executioner 
on the forehead in a transport of Christian charity, and 
the great crowd, touched to the core, forgot for once to 
cry, " Viva il Re ! " " The execution of that poor child of 
Genzano touched all the gazing populace, who far from 
uttering their usual shouts, grew dumb and were seen to 
weep, and heard to curse him whoever had the fault." 3 

The executions went on regularly every few days from 

1 Pasquale Batistessa, who was hanged at Ischia, was also 
accused of having cut off the head of this same statue. And 
yet De Nicola expressly records on February Qth, that it was 
the populace who " broke the statue in pieces with a thousand 
insults, and threw it upon the ground crying Viva la Liberia / the 
same populace who twenty days before cried in those very streets 
Viva il Re!" 

1 L. SETTEMBRINI: Ricordanze della mia Vita, I., p. 5. 

8 Diario, October 2nd. 


the beginning of July to the middle of the following March 
until the number of those hanged or beheaded in Naples 
and the islands reached one hundred and twenty. Only 
two or three of them were men of the populace ; all the 
rest were nobles, officers, lawyers, doctors, ecclesiastics, 
professors, and men of science and letters ; the very 
cream and flower of Neapolitan culture. 

October 29th saw the execution of Mario Pagano, 
Domenico Cirillo, Ignazio Ciaja, and Giorgio Pigliacelli. 
" For the death of men like these the whole city has 
suffered," wrote Marinelli in his journal. When Pagano 
was asked by his judge what he had to say in his defence, 
he replied " that he believed it was useless to make any 
defence ; that his life, because of the continual malignity 
of men and the tyranny of the government, was hateful 
to him, and he hoped for peace after death." 

" Never," says Botta the historian, " did a more learned 
philosopher nor a more benevolent philanthropist set him- 
self to better our human race and to console the earth. . . . 
He died as he had lived, placid, innocent and pure. From 
one extreme of Italy to the other he was mourned with 
bitter tears by his disciples, who as master and father 
and more as a father than as a master had looked up 
to him. . . . No worse thing can be said of our age than 
this, that a Mario Pagano died upon the gallows." 

Words like these would apply to Cirillo, known in 
scientific circles all over Europe, and at Naples more 
honourably still among the poor and suffering who never 
appealed to him in vain, and whose cause was his foremost 
thought and care as long as he served the republican 

The letter he wrote to Lady Hamilton from on board 
the vessel where he lay a prisoner, asking her to intercede 
for his pardon with the king, has been published by 
Jeaffreson, 1 who gives a private note of Nelson's on the 
subject : " Dominico Cirillo, who had been the king's 

1 JEAFFRESON : Lady Hamilton and Lord Nets on, Vol. II., p. 105. 


physician, might have been saved, but that he chose to 
play the fool, and lie ; denying that he had ever made 
any speeches against the government, and [saying] that 
he only took care of the poor in the hospitals." 

Cirillo, in fact, had done his utmost to keep clear of 
any share in the Government, but had not succeeded in 
altogether standing aloof ; his letter is quite truthful, and 
shows him the charitable, peace-loving man that he was, 
averse to public strife, and with no unfriendly sentiment 
towards the king, Nelson, or the Hamiltons a thoroughly 
good man, politically quite harmless, with perhaps only 
barely the courage of his decided opinions. His letter, 
Croce says, is not the letter of a hero. In fact, the idea 
that he was to be hanged can then have crossed his mind 
only as the remotest possibility, or he would not have 
talked of his valuable scientific observations and so forth. 
It is probable that when the alternative of life or death 
was actually presented to him, an unsuspected gulf revealed 
itself between him and the side that offered pardon, not 
free, but conditional, and he stepped back in indignation, 
and, as Nelson puts it, chose to play the fool. After all, 
nothing short of proof reveals the brevet mark of heroism. 
The decorous physician, not by any means indifferent to 
a precise elegance of dress, and remarkable for his courtly 
and distinguished manners no less than for his scientific 
acquirements and his eminent benevolence and goodness, 
was not a man to court martyrdom ; no doubt he would 
fain have lived if he could, but not at such a price. 
There are sacrifices at which life itself is too dear, and it 
is evident that Cirillo, ruled by the quiet, unsuspected 
strength of his upright conscience, went to his death by 
deliberate choice. Even the way in which he met his 
fate is quaintly characteristic of him. While Pagano went 
to the gallows barefooted, ragged, and with two inches of 
unshaven beard, Cirillo " insisted on shaving and on dress- 
ing neatly, with new shoes, French socks, and a dark coat ; 
and on his head he put a little white cap with a large 


bow." He was none the less a hero for that large bow 
of his, and " proceeded with intrepidity and presence of 
mind," 1 one of the monks who records his last moments 
calling him "a most obstinate patriot." 

Italian writers agree in saying that Cirillo refused to 
accept a pardon at the expense of his honour. The 
only pardons granted by the Bourbon were to a few 
weak men who stooped to buy them, when under sentence 
of death, by betraying a plan of escape formed by their 
fellow prisoners. These were the only lives the royal 
mercy preserved to their country ; to grant a real free 
pardon was far beyond the scope of those mean, vindictive 

Ciaja had more than once been imprisoned for his 
liberal opinions, if not for his literary tastes alone, in 1792, 
and again later on from 1794 to 1798. He was the only 
poet of true poetic genius produced by Naples in his 
century. It is said that when the garrison of Castel 
Nuovo were proposing either to fight their way to Capua 
or to blow up the castle and perish in one common ruin, 
Ciaja it was who used all his eloquence to plead the cause 
of the old and infirm, of the women and the children, who 
were there under the protection of himself and every 
other man of the garrison who could fight. He was 
thirty-five when he perished on the gallows. 

Pigliacelli had been Minister of Justice and Police under 
the Republic : " a man," says De Nicola, " who did not 
deserve such an end, because he was of proved integrity, 
learned in the law, and there is reason to believe that 
he never was a traitor " i.e. never of decidedly republican 

The case of Gregorio Mancini affords a notorious 
instance of the arbitrariness of the so-called trials of 
State. Coco relates how Mancini at his trial was 

^Diurnali of Marinelli, MS., quoted by FORTUNATO in I 
Naoletani del 1799, P- 37- See also V. SPINAZZOLA: Gli 
Awenimenti del 1799, etc., p. 137, et seq. 


sentenced to fifteen years' exile. He was bidding farewell 
to his wife and children, when he was recalled by Speciale 
and sent to the gallows. 1 " A good young fellow," wrote 
Marinelli, who knew him well, "extremely scrupulous, 
and of a handsome figure. His crime was that he 
had published under the monarchy a book on feudal 
law and brought it out again under the democratic 

Michelangelo Novi was also condemned to exile, and 
was already embarked and on the point of sailing, when 
an order came from Palermo condemning him to life- 
long imprisonment in a dungeon of the Favignana. " In 
other times," says Coco, " it used to be said that the laws 
condemned and kings granted pardon : in Naples they 
acquitted in the name of the law, and condemned in 
the name of the king." 

Exactly how Coco himself escaped with only a sentence 
of exile is still an enigma. As early as the month of 
May, after his name had appeared in the Monitore as 
of him who shared with Luisa Sanfelice the glory of 
having revealed the conspiracy of the Baccher, the king 
wrote to Ruffo that he wished both to be arrested as 
soon as Ruffo should have it in his power so to do. 2 
For Luisa Sanfelice he was implacable, but Coco went 
into exile. D'Ayala, in his account of Coco, prefixed to 
the Saggio Storico? says it was "by good luck and still 
more by money and by pious subterfuges [pietost rigiri\? 
that his sentence was, comparatively, so light. 

In September De Nicola has already begun to comment 
on the corruption of the Junta, on the accumulating 
evidence that the king is ill-advised, and that his fears 
and suspicions are purposely augmented and worked 
upon by interested persons ; on the iniquity of the 

1 V. COCO : Saggio Storico, p. 176. 
1 DUMAS, IV., p. 241. 

3 Edition of 1861. The Saggio Storico was written in 1800, and 
published the following year. 


sentences passed by the Junta, and other matters which 
time and his honest mind somewhat slowly revealed to 
him. Witness this of September I4th : "... terror is 
being spread throughout the kingdom of Naples, while the 
Emperor and the Grand Duke of Tuscany have used 
clemency, and granted a general pardon : let posterity 
judge ! " and again on the 24th : " When will there be 
an end of so much bloodshed, of which one cannot 
hear without shuddering ! In all the history of revolu- 
tions there is no example of the sacrifice of so many 
victims. Oh God ! how ill-advised is the king ! How 
can he return in the midst of a people of malcontents 
become such from over severity? The State Junta is a 
junta of Butchers. His Majesty is deceived, because if 
it were represented to him how necessary it is to restore 
peace to this unhappy kingdom he would certainly do 
it; the following fact is proof"; and he recounts how 
Mons. Ludovici, Inspector for Avellino and Benevento, 
had represented to the king that if he were to carry 
out his instructions, and arrest all persons who had 
belonged either to the municipalities or the National 
Guard, all the good people would have been prosecuted 
and the bad left free, because the choice had always 
fallen on the most respectable citizens, and the National 
Guard were chosen from among the more quiet sort 
for the defence of the common weal. The king accord- 
ingly ordered that they should " not be molested, but 
that their conduct should be watched." 

" But what are we to expect," he cries one day, 
hearing of the imprisonment and imminent danger of 
Pirelli "this excellent man, of whose attachment to 
our religion and to the king there can be no doubt 
what are we to expect of a Junta which does not 
know one man from another, and is all ferocity ? " 

And again : " The public cannot forget the tragic 
death of that boy Genzano, and even the ferocious 
populace said that the king would have pardoned him 


if he had been in Naples ; they already begin to abhor 
the rigour of the Junta. Part of the public says worse 
things of this Junta and its subalterns. Innocent men, 
if they wish to escape, have to agree upon the sums 
to be paid down. Some say that -the family of Ercole 
d'Agnese paid out the sum of two thousand ducats in 
cash to save his life ; but they were stolen, and he, 
already dead, was hung upon the gallows." 1 

Every now and then come letters from Palermo urging 
the Junta to greater haste in despatching the trials of 
State. " I know not," comments De Nicola, " how the 
trials that are bringing multitudes of people to death 
can be so much hurried." 

By October 9th the diarist notes that at the last 
execution there was no great crowd, nor yet the usual 
applause. The very mob was getting a little tired of 
these horrible spectacles. He comments, on the I7th, on 
the fact that the Duchesses of Cassano and Montemiletto 
(Popoli) have come off with only seven years of exile, 
and writes a note : " It is said that their suit cost them 
thirty thousand ducats, and it is added that this is now 
an open mine, of salvation for the accused and of wealth 
for the Junta." But he adds that he cannot vouch for 
the truth of these things. Nor can posterity in detail. 
But in general it is certain that where the express revenge 
of the Court did not interfere beyond all hope, money 
worked miracles with the Junta. De Nicola himself, by 
November, knows more about it, and tells us of three 
men with money who have been acquitted, while one, 
Magliano, "whose poverty did not allow him to help 
himself," was condemned, " it being most certain that 
whoever has money to spend finds it stand him in very 
good stead." 

Most interesting is the note of this sober royalist upon 

1 D'Agnese, on being condemned, took opium in order to escape 
the disgrace of dying on the gallows, and was half (lead when 
they hanged him, 


the conduct of the populace from first to last the 
populace, so dear to the heart of Maria Carolina, whose 
loyalty so impressed Captain Troubridge. 

" What pains me is to see this murderous and tipsy 
populace arrogating to themselves the merit of having 
alone been faithful to the king, and with its songs 
libelling every class ; they sing for example, 

Who betrayed your Majesty? 
Monks and priests and cavaliers 
Would have had you prisoner," 1 

and such-like. They look with an evil eye on all well 
to do people, and almost say that it is they who have 
restored the kingdom to the king ; while we, who have 
been in the midst of this appalling catastrophe, know 
that those very same men who went about crying Viva il 
Re cried Viva la Liberia around Championnet when he 
went to the archbishop's palace. Those same men who 
go about singing the above-mentioned songs, went about 
singing the Marseillaise and the so-called Carmagnole. 
Those same men who ran to cut down the trees of 
liberty, came together to celebrate the planting of them. 
Those same men who are boasting themselves to be so 
attached to their sovereign, deafened our ears when they 
bawled in the streets TJu flight of the Tyrant, The new 
song on Carolina, The Liberty of monks and priests and 
such like wickedness which made me shudder, and God 
knows with what a heart I bore such things. I remember 
that morning when I found them selling all over Naples 
that infamous proclamation called The Liberty of Monks ; 
I had like to have burst out in rage against those rascals 
that were selling it with such delight. Now they are the 
faithful, we are the traitors, after we have been robbed 2 

1 Maiesta chi t'ha tradute ? 
Muonece, prievete e cavaliere 
Te volevano prigioniere. 

3 Assassinati ; in common Neapolitan speech assassinare refers 
to the purse rather than to the person. Assassino di ladro ! 
is common abuse for one who asks too long a price. 


and oppressed by the French, and then sacked by the 
populace, who just as they sacked the house of Rocca 
and others, so they sacked the Royal Palace when the 
French came in." 1 

Reflecting on the tendency of the arrests and executions 
to strike all the best and most conspicuous citizens, our 
diarist remarks : " It seems as though a man were to 
be punished for having had a good reputation ; because 
many were named [i.e. to public places] precisely because 
of the good public opinion that they enjoyed. If they 
do not make the king understand this truth, and one or 
two others, all Naples will be blackened and infected. 
Up to to-day there have been thirty-eight executions, 
God knows how many more there will be if they go 
on like this." 

The king, he thinks, is not coming, as is constantly 
reported, having among other things " sent for his hunt- 
ing-nets," which he has heard have been restored as 
part of the sack of the palace. 

On October 2 1st De Nicola gives another list of men 
condemned to the scaffold and the gallows ; among the 
former Don Onofrio Colace, whose death " awoke the 
compassion of the whole city, because it would be im- 
possible to find a man of greater kindness, more upright 
at heart, of greater integrity or more attached to the 
king." His crime was that he had signed the sentence 
of death upon certain insurgents at Torre del Greco 
who had sacked the Camaldoli there, murdered two 
of the monks, stolen the church plate, and driven away 
the rest of the monks. 

" It is impossible for a humane and sensitive heart to 
bear up in the midst of this butchery, especially when 
one sees men condemned who do not deserve to die, and 
one begins to doubt the integrity of the Junta. May 
God forgive those scoundrels of the Sala patriottica who 
made opposition to the Deputation that they wanted to 
1 Diario, October uth. 


Hanged, March 6, 1800. 

\Toface />. 362. 


send to Palermo when Macdonald left Naples with the 
French army. I have learned for certain what I am about 
to say. 1 Giuseppe Abbamonte proposed to send a deputa- 
tion to Palermo to recall the king, demanding a universal 
pardon ; this he proposed on demonstrating the impos- 
sibility of maintaining such a Republic as they imagined 
without force, without foreign help, without money, without 
the provinces. Cirillo, Pagano, and one or two others 
supported him, and possibly the whole legislative council 
would have come round ; but when it came to the ears 
of the Sala patriottica> of those wicked, stupid and over- 
heated patriots, they bitterly opposed it, threatening to 
massacre the whole Council, so that it came to nothing 
. . . God will have disposed otherwise in order to punish 
our sins. ... I tremble when I reflect that the blood of 
so many just men who have perished and are perishing 
will call down fresh scourges upon my unhappy country." 2 
These are the words of a man who would certainly, in 
those days, have repudiated the name of patriot ; of a man 
who thought no harm of the king, and had no sympathy 
whatever with the republicans as such. He betrays over 
and over again his conviction that the king is the mere 
tool of those about him, kept in ignorance or misinformed. 

1 Diario, October 2ist. This passage has the greater weight 
because the writer is careful to distinguish, as a rule, between 
mere hearsay and things which he knows to be true. 

3 It is most characteristic of the queen, that, having through 
some of her own private channels received a quite different account 
of this incident, she accepted and passed on to Ruffo the slander 
against Cirillo : 

"Cirillo," she wrote, "spoke rabidly against the proposal for 
pardon." Arch. Stor. Nap., VIII., pp. 568, 569. 

If Cirillo had been her own father, this woman would not have 
known him nor believed in him. 

This passage is interesting and important as showing the power 
of the ultra republicans who were not in the government; it 
incidentally shows the probable truth of Caracciolo's assertion that 
threats were used [at this very time] to induce him to take the 
direction of the marine. 


It is very natural, he remarks, that the king does not 
come ; indeed, his coming is impossible in the midst of 
massacres and the discontent of every class of people. 

" Truly if the sentences of death continue, he certainly 
will not come among a Nobility that has been rendered 
disaffected \disgustata\ by every possible means " ; and 
again in November: "The execution of the prisoners of 
State has become a matter of such indifference, that it 
no longer makes any impression : it does not serve as 
an example to the people, nor has the ignominy that 
used to belong to this punishment any part in the present 
executions. I wish this could be pointed out to the king, 
but by whom ? " 



Carafa at Pescara ; capitulation ; treachery ; sent a prisoner to 
Naples ; barbarous treatment ; execution Capitulation of Baia 
Treachery Marchese Mauri Pasquale Battistessa Colace 
and Nelson's edict Trial of Luisa Sanfelice ; reprieve Old 
Vincenzo Baccher Execution of Luisa Sanfelice. 

WHILE these things were going on in Naples, the 
gallant Ettore Carafa was still holding Pescara 
against the encamped masses of Pronio, unaware that 
Naples had fallen, and counting on republican reinforce- 
ments from Lanciano, on a further force which his 
brother Carlo was raising in Rome, and on the arrival 
of French troops by sea from Ancona. But time passed, 
and the promised and expected help did not come. 
For ten days the republicans made constant sorties. 
These sorties were always preceded by two field-guns, 
each drawn by four horses, Carafa's carriage horses, 
and mounted by his grooms ; these were followed by 
some hundred soldiers, who made havoc among the 
besiegers ; and behind these always a number of women 
and peasants sallied out and brought back fruit and 
vegetables and whatever fresh thing they could lay 
hands on : on one occasion they brought in a whole 
cherry-tree torn up by the roots and laden with fruit. 

Pronio at last assured Carafa that further protraction 
of the siege was useless, because the whole kingdom 
was now once more under the royal authority ; that 
Aquila and Civitella del Tronto had surrendered, and 
the Republic was no more. 



Carafa, always hoping for his reinforcements, and by 
no means trusting his adversary, asked for fifteen days' 
truce in order that he might despatch one of his officers, 
together with one of Pronio's, to ascertain the true state 
of things at Naples. 

Finoia, the body-servant of Carafa, who afterwards 
wrote an account of the siege, speaks of Pronio as a 
man who had been fourteen years in prison for various 
homicides, committed, however, in brawls, not for malice 
or robbery ; he describes him as rough and common, 
but of a good heart. As we have seen already, Eleonora 
Pimentel also spoke well of him in the Monitore, and 
commended his humanity towards his prisoners. During 
the armistice he daily sent Carafa presents of snow for 
his table, with which the officers may have cooled 
the vinegar and water they were now reduced to drink 
instead of wine. Pronio's most trusted subordinates 
who, however, were only partly under his control were 
some of his ancient prison companions. 

During the truce, unfortunately, however, the people 
outside the walls fraternised with those within, and 
unknown, it is said, to Pronio, a conspiracy was organised 
to kill Carafa and hand over the fortress to the king's 
partisans a large sum of money to be the reward of 
success. The real mover of the plot appears to have 
been a certain Lieutenant Pietro Severino, 1 whom Carafa 
had appointed commandant of the fortress ; but this 
man concealed his treachery so well that although the 
plot was several times discovered by Carafa, and one 
ringleader shot each time, Severino remained unsuspected. 

Meanwhile the fifteen days elapsed and the messengers 
never returned. Hostilities were therefore resumed, al- 
though Pronio repeatedly assured Carafa it was useless. 
To keep up the spirits of the people in the town the 
duke used to give balls in the palace of the Marchese 

1 Finoia calls him lieutenant. Carafa, in his reports, calls him 
captain, and had probably promoted him in a provisional way. 


del Vasto. where he had his quarters. One evening, when 
the dancers were dancing an English contre danse, a cannon- 
ball entered the ball-room by one window, passed straight 
down between the two rows of dancers and through the 
opposite wall. The ladies fell fainting on every side, 
but Carafa "gave courage to all, and the dance began 

Towards the end of July, however, provisions began 
to run short, and the little garrison, alert night and day, 
was wearied out. Then Carafa learned through his agents 
in Naples that the Republic had fallen, and that the 
republican reinforcements from Lanciano had disbanded. 
Carlo Carafa, meanwhile, hearing that all was over, fled 
for his life, and the French troops delayed continually. 

Carafa therefore at last consented to capitulate, on 
condition that the garrison should march out with all 
their property and arms and with military honours. The 
duke himself and his officers were to embark on six 
fishing-smacks (paranzelle) that belonged to the Pescarese 
fishermen and lay in the river mouth, each of which was 
to be armed with a small cannon, and were then to set 
sail to join the French who lay at Ancona. The non- 
commissioned officers and soldiers remained free to 
enlist under Pronio, or to retire to their homes under a 
safe-conduct from the brigand leader. All the ample 
ammunition, arms, artillery, etc., were to be delivered 
over to Pronio. 

On the appointed morning the treacherous Severino 
asked Carafa's leave to let into Pescara a few Pescaresi 
who belonged to Pronio's troops, on condition that they 
were to be unarmed, and the unsuspecting Carafa con- 
sented. Severino admitted about fifty persons, and to 
twenty of them who were in his confidence he gave 
pistols, with instructions to fire upon the duke when 
he passed to leave the town. 

Carafa was busy burning all the papers, making in- 
ventories, and setting all in readiness to be consigned 


to Pronio's troops at the appointed hour, when he 
received an invitation from Pronio to dine with him 
at Francavilla. He excused himself on account of his 
engagement to consign the fortress. Meanwhile one of 
his officers, a certain Captain Ginevra, who was devoted 
to him, heard of the plot, and told him of it, urging him 
most earnestly to go to Francavilla to Pronio, and dis- 
concert thus the expectations and treacherous plans of 
Severino and his accomplices. Other officers undertook 
to attend to the due consignment of the fortress, and 
Carafa consented and rode away with two of his officers 
and a strong escort to Francavilla. It seems that Severino, 
determined to earn in some way the reward of loyalty, 
now gave leave to his conspirators to open the door of 
the central magazine, which contained a great quantity 
of arms and ammunition, and let them rob what they 
chose, with the idea that thus the inventories would be 
proved false and the capitulation therefore not valid. 
The sentinel was overpowered, and the whole magazine 
given up to the pillage of the mob. Then began disputes, 
a pistol was fired, the powder took fire, and the whole 
magazine blew up with a frightful explosion, and killed 
nearly five hundred of the crowd who were gathered in 
its neighbourhood. The powder was no great quantity, 
but the place was full of bombs, grenades, and cartridges, 
which continued to explode at intervals for some two 
hours. This accident led to a general flight from Pescara ; 
and here fresh disasters followed. The city, surrounded 
by high fortifications, had but one gate, and here in the 
frightful stampede of the inhabitants, who did not know 
what had happened, many more were killed. The little 
republican garrison, suspecting treachery, also fled, but 
they were overwhelmed by the armed masses outside, 
and all but sixty of them were killed. Finoia himself, 
Carafa's servant, who tells the story, had the good luck 
to be one of the first to escape, and got to Chieti ; and 
there eventually he learned from such of the victims 


as recovered in the hospital how the disaster had come 

When all danger of further explosion had ceased, 
the masses of Pronio burst into the city, furious at the 
supposed treachery of the republicans, and with this ex- 
cuse betook themselves to a general sack, first of the 
palace where Carafa had lodged, then of those where 
the other republican officers had been, and finally broke 
into all the military magazines and stole everything 
they could carry away, leaving only the powder and 
the cannon. 

Meanwhile Pronio at Francavilla was entertaining his 
guests with the utmost courtesy and hospitality, when 
the sound of the explosion brought them all to their 
feet with drawn swords. Suspecting, or pretending to 
suspect, treachery, as was natural, Pronio required Carafa 
to give up his sword and remain as his hostage until 
the matter could be examined into. 1 Carafa could only 
protest his complete innocence, give up his sword, and 
remain a prisoner. 

That Pronio really subsequently ascertained the facts 
and was not privy to a plot which led his gallant enemy 
into a trap seems doubtful. Finoia asserts that it was 
so, but goes on to say that Pronio now discovered 
that a band of republicans had united near Pescara 
with the intention of liberating their leader, for which 
reason he dispatched Carafa under a strong escort to 
Naples, writing at the same time both to Naples and 
to Palermo a full account of the matter, and that he 
" desired to respect the capitulation." But he received 
answer from Palermo that " the king did not capitulate 
with his subjects." 

This story, which seems to have persuaded Finoia, 
does not convince one in all its details. If Pronio had 

1 The pretext for suspicion may have been agreed upon before- 
hand, or may have been really accidental, but none the less 



not meant all along to take advantage of the capitulation 
in order to secure the person of Carafa, the strong guard 
that carried him safely to Naples might with equal 
success have escorted him on board the little vessels 
which were to take him and his officers to Ancona. It 
is odd, moreover, that a band of republicans should 
have collected to liberate a man who was not supposed 
to be a prisoner near Pescara, too, now the centre of 
thousands of Pronio's armed hordes, whence all the 
republicans had fled, those of Lanciano having disbanded 
weeks before. 

It looks as though Pronio, warned by the events of 
Naples, meant to keep on the safe side of royal favour, 
and not set free such a man as Carafa, fit match as he 
was to Caracciolo, and held in almost equal terror by the 
Court. Ferdinand's letter of August i6th from Palermo 
to Ruffo points rather to the same conclusion. "When 
Pronio took Pescara," wrote the king, " he sent an adjutant 
to inform me of it, saying that he had in his power, 
strongly guarded, the celebrated Conte di Ruvo, to whom 
he had promised his life, a thing he had no power to 
do. I sent back the adjutant immediately with an order 
in reply, to send the said Ruvo here under his utmost 
responsibility, life for life." 1 Not a band of republicans, 
therefore, but a peremptory letter from the king decided 
Pronio to send Carafa to Naples. 

What makes one still further inclined to suspect that 
Pronio was not without complicity in laying a trap for 
Carafa is that Captain Ginevra heard of Severino's plot 
from an officer who had been one of the republican garrison 
of Civitella del Tronto, but on the surrender of the fortress 
had joined Pronio. Such a man may have been anxious 
to prove his loyalty. He may have known of a real 
plot and have honestly warned Ginevra, who was a 
staunch and dear friend of Carafa. But it is at least 
equally likely, under the circumstances, that an excuse 
' DUMA.S, IV., p. 260, 


was wanted to decoy Carafa to Francavilla, seeing that 
he had declined Pronio's invitation, and that it would 
not have been easy to arrest him in the middle of his 
own officers and men. 

Pronio, no doubt, had something generous in his com- 
position, and wished well to his gallant opponent ; but 
he was fighting for royal favour and rewards, and it is 
incredible that he ever seriously meant to let slip so 
uncompromising a republican as Carafa. Pronio, within 
a year, received an annual pension of two thousand 
ducats. 1 

Carafa, meanwhile, went to meet his fate. On Sep- 
tember 2nd he was condemned to be beheaded in the 
Piazza del Mercato, and the sentence was carried out 
on the 4th. The confirmation of the sentence, meanwhile, 
was only signed at Palermo on September i6th, a fact 
which proves once more how little show of legality there 
was in the pretended trials. 

Together with the manuscript of Finoia 2 there is a note 
by the Principe di Belmonte, who was collecting materials 
from persons who had known Carafa or had been engaged 
in the notable events of 1799. Carafa, notes the prince, 
" was kept in a barbarous way in the prisons of the 
Carmine, and when the fathers of the Bianchi entered 
the prison to comfort him according to the custom, 
besides the irons upon his hands and feet, such as are 
put upon condemned prisoners, he had an iron collar 
round his neck fixed to the wall." The Marchese Maresca, 
in publishing this note, observes that it is not improbable 
that the Principe di Belmonte had this detail from the 
lips of his uncle, Monsignor Silvestro Granito, who was 
a member of the confraternity of the Bianchi in 1799, and 
was present, in the exercise of his mission of compassion, 
also at the execution of the Baccher. 

Confirmation of this abominable act of cruelty and spite 

1 SANSONE : Avvenimenti, etc., p. CCLVIII. 

1 Published by MARESCA ; Arch. Stor. Nap., X. 2, 


comes to us from another MS., the diary of Marinelli for 
September 4th : " He was kept with an iron collar round 
his neck for many days, which prevented him from lying 
down and sleeping," so that the collar was literally " fixed 
to the wall." 1 

At this execution there were the usual precautions of 
armed patrols along the streets, of soldiers drawn up all 
round the square, and of cannon pointing along the ways 
that opened upon the dreary Piazza del Mercato. 

Carafa appeared in the torn and war-stained uniform 
of a French colonel, with a beard of a month's neglected 
growth, and mounted the scaffold with a firm step, looking 
round upon the silent crowd with a smile of high disdain 
while the sentence was read aloud. The executioner 
approached to assist him to undress, but Carafa motioned 
him away in disgust. The man then directed him to lie 
upon his face, but he refused, and lay down flat upon 
his back with unbandaged eyes, that he might, as ever, 
look death in the face without flinching. " Tell thy 
queen," he said scornfully to the executioner, " that 
Ettore Carafa knew how to die ! " 2 And as the man 
hesitated and stared, taken aback at the unconventional 
and lofty demeanour of his victim, Carafa cried out 
imperiously, " Strike, per Dio ! " and the blow fell that 
set his noble spirit free. 

When they told Ferdinand, he laughed, and said in 
his lazzarone dialect : " U duchino 'a fat? u guappo firi aW 
ultemo ! " (" The young duke has played the bravo to 
the very last!") 3 

1 Diurnali of Marinelli, quoted by CONFORTI : Napoli nel 

1799* etc -> P- l6 4- 

* Note this touch of evidence that the patriots saw, not 
Ferdinand's, but the queen's, hand in these executions. Carafa 
knew them both very well. 

* R. CARAFA D'ANDRIA : Ettore Carafa, etc., p. 68. The 
guappo is the swaggering, dare-devil pattern and leader of young 
roughs among the lowest Neapolitan populace. In Ferdinand's 
vocabulary and in his ideas this word may well have done duty 
for hero. 


(Oh, rabbit-hearted, grinning Ferdinand ! never, first 
or last, in all thy long ignoble life, didst thou "play 
the bravo"!) 

Carafa was buried in the Church of the Carmine 

Lady Morgan, who was intimate with the Carafa family 
during her visit to Naples in 1820, records how his gay 
courage on the scaffold was still recalled with tears by 
his friends, and adds that she judges of his virtues and 
talents by those of the rest of his family. 1 

In the same way in which it was pretended, after the 
event, that Ruffo had had no power to conclude the 
capitulation with the castles of Naples, and that Pronio's 
capitulation with Ettore Carafa was cancelled as soon as 
the king had profited by his own side of the bargain, 
so the capitulation of the Castle of Baia was used, whether 
with premeditated treachery or not, we cannot say, to 
secure the fortress to the king, and imprison the persons 
who surrendered to the Conte di Thurn and obtained 
his written safe-conduct. 2 

Foremost among these was the Marchese Mauri, com- 
mandant of the fortress. In the fine commemorative 
collection of notices and documents published in 1899 
at Naples 3 is a touching series of twenty-four letters, 
now in the possession of his family, written by Mauri 
from prison to his young wife. He shows himself astonished 
at the things of which he is accused, and for some time 
apprehends nothing worse than exile, and tells his wife 
what clothes to prepare for his journey. He hears that 
five witnesses have sworn to false evidence against him, 
and urges his wife to procure others, observing reasonably 
enough that if five false witnesses have been found to 
swear to a lie, surely it cannot be difficult to find others 

1 LADY MORGAN : Italy, Vol. III., p. 156, note. 
8 SANSONE : Avvenimenti* etc., p. CXCIX. 
8 La Rivoluzione Napoletana del 1799, Albo, etc., Fasc. 12 
and 13. 


who will swear to the truth. He clings also to his safe- 
conduct from Thurn, and implores his wife to spend 
liberally among the secretaries and venal subalterns of 
the Junta. " Everything may be done," he says, " for 


But his was one of those cases predetermined by the 

king, in which bribery was of no avail. Thurn, it was 
said by the Junta, could not "concede papers granting 
impunity," and " compacts made with rebels were not to 
be maintained." Mauri was therefore beheaded. 

One who came out of the Castle of Baia on the same 
conditions of personal safety was Pasquale Battistessa, 
an extremely energetic republican. He was immediately 
arrested, because, it was said, "an individual who is not 
one of the garrison cannot enjoy the action of military 
laws," and was thrown into the dungeons of the Castle of 
Ischia. Lest he should by any means escape, old Vincenzo 
Baccher made instance that he should be put in chains, 
and compiled a complicated accusation against him which 
brought him to the gallows. In vain Battistessa appealed 
to a general pardon given out by Ruffo, and to the 
safe-conduct of the Conte di Thurn. Speciale " explored 
the mind of the king " on the subject, and reported the 
reply " that the edict of Ruffo and the safe-conduct could 
not profit that traitor, because the king makes no treaties 
with his subjects, nor can any one capitulate without his 
permission." x 

Others, among whom was Onofrio Colace, gave them- 
selves up voluntarily, in response to Nelson's edict, which 
held out the promise of the king's clemency. 2 The trial of 
Colace was another instance of the scandalous disregard of 
the most elementary forms, or even pretences, of justice. 
To avoid complications and be able to proceed in a more 
summary way, the Sicilian code, rather than the Neapolitan, 
was supposed to be followed. Under this code, if there 

1 SANSONE, p. 161. 

* See Appendix for this edict. 


Beheaded, December 14, .1799, at the age of twenty-seven. 
(From a miniature in the possession of his descendants*} 

[To face p. 374- 


was but one dissentient voice among the judges, sentence 
of death could not be pronounced ; and yet we read 
occasionally notably in the case of Luisa Sanfelice that, 
"in order not to disagree," two of the judges who were 
contrary to the death-sentence nevertheless signed the 

In the case of Colace the evidence against the prisoner 
was so doubtful that one of the judges was for setting 
him at liberty, another for sparing his life ; yet he 
was condemned. "After the sentence was passed," De 
Nicola tells us, "he wrote a memorial all with his own 
hand, imploring the king's clemency, also on the ground 
that he had presented himself on the word of the admiral 
Nelson, who admitted to the king's clemency all who, 
having held office, should spontaneously present them- 
selves ; the advocates of the prisoners alleged the same 
thing, but the prosecutor said that he had another 
despatch which said that no attention was to be paid to 
the promise made by Nelson." 1 

Kings, in fact, neither kept promises nor showed 
clemency ; such was Ferdinand's ideal of royal power. 2 

1 Diario, October 22nd. 

8 There is an anecdote told by Nisco which shows how this trait 
of the Bourbon mind was ineradicably characteristic of the race. 
One day, in 1844, the l d Duke of Sperlinga, a courtier of the 
ancient type, came to the house of Pasquale Mancini, " and told 
him that he had been present at an ugly scene: the duke was 
standing at a window with the king and the little prince to see the 
people in the palace square crowding round the band at the moment 
of changing the guard, and the boy asked his father : ' What can 
the king do with all these people ? ' and Ferdinand II. replied : 
' He has the right to have all their heads cut off ; but out of respect 
for our holy religion, he does not have it done,' and so saying, 
with his thumb he rubbed the sign of the Cross on the child's 
forehead. And the honest Sicilian duke added in comment : ' With 
such maxims our young prince will become a tyrant, and even my 
lands of Sperlinga, the only property on the island that respected 
the French on the day of the famous Vespers, will finish by rising 
in revolt against their king." NlCCOLA NlSCO : Francesco //., Re. 
Naples, 1887. 


Before the long list of other names which must go un- 
recorded, the writer is fain to echo the cry of Coco : 
"Would that I were able to render to the names of all 
that honour which they deserve ! " But in a sketch like 
the present there is no room for what would be an 
excess of detail. 

An amnesty was signed at Palermo long before the 
executions came to an end, but its publication was 
continually withheld and delayed, while the insatiable 
vengeance of the Court kept "reaching forth long arms 
and plucking offenders from the mass " for sacrifice. 

Among the many condemned by express order of the 
king was the unfortunate Luisa Sanfelice. This poor 
thing, as we know, had committed no crime, the advocates 
at her trial most justly observing that there is no law by 
which to condemn a person for revealing a conspiracy to 
that Government under which he happens to be living. 
The very judges could not agree, for once, to condemn 
an innocent person, and although sentence of death was 
passed by the votes of the servile majority, and the victim 
was accordingly put in Cappella, her advocates prevailed 
with the dissenting member of the Junta to urge an irregu- 
larity in the proceedings, and to raise a doubt as to whether 
this case came under a certain recent royal despatch or 
not. Under this pretext Luisa Sanfelice was reprieved, 
having already tasted once the bitterness of death. This 
was September I5th, 1799. But on the 28th, in reply 
to a representation from the Junta, came the inexorable 
royal despatch from Palermo, insisting on the execution 
of the condemned ; and on the 29th Luisa and her 
fellow victims were once more put in Cappella in the 

The poor creature, in an agony of terror, had but one 
more chance of reprieve, suggested to her very likely 
by her courageous and energetic mother, who was going 
boldly from one judge to another, with home truths and 
a woman's futile threats. When the Bianchi came to her 


for their pious office, she confided to them that she had 
reason to believe herself enceinte. Thus, by an ancient 
and common custom, the execution was delayed once 
more. Doctors and wise women were sent by the Junta to 
ascertain if the thing were true, and they charitably agreed 
in confirming her assertion. The whole city, knowing 
how guiltless the poor thing was of any political sentiments, 
and how it was but an accident which had made her 
instrumental in revealing the conspiracy of the Baccher, 
was horrified and shocked at her condemnation and at 
the prospect of the sentence being actually carried out. 

During the months which followed, writers of the diaries 
which have come down to us made notes from time to 
time reflecting current popular gossip as to the fate of 
La Molina or La Sanfelice, as they call her, using 
sometimes her maiden, sometimes her married, name. 
Now it is a report that the supposed expectations have 
come to nothing, and that there is about to be an 
execution ; then a rumour that the king has granted 
a pardon. The rumours are confirmed, contradicted ; 
people are in suspense. 

The poor creature, meanwhile, was shut up with several 
other ladies in the prison of the Vicaria, and they shared 
her terror every time that doctors were sent to report 
upon her case, knowing very well that it was but a 
desperate pretence. 

In May, 1800, a general amnesty was at last proclaimed, 
to which, however, there were not a few specified excep- 
tions ; but the gallows and the scaffold in the Mercato 
were at last taken down, and good people began to 
breathe and to persuade themselves that the other 
executions would never take place. 

Of course, meanwhile, the expected child should have 
been born not later than March or April. July passed, 
and still nothing had taken place, and the thing lay 
dormant. There was, moreover, an antique custom by 
which a criminal who had been face to face with death 


in Cappella, and had been for whatever reason reprieved, 
was accorded his life by royal clemency that fiction 
which deluded the faith and hope of so many during 
this fatal year ! The unhappy Luisa had already twice 
gone through those twenty-four hours of mortal anguish, 
and it was felt to be monstrous and inhuman to persecute 
her any further. 

In the meantime, high in royal favour were the survivors 
of the family Baccher and all who had had a hand in 
their conspiracy against the Republic ; so much so that all 
kinds of people, at a loss to prove their loyalty, and so 
to establish a claim on the royal gratitude and bounty 
(fed by the confiscated property of the republicans) 
actually paid large sums for the privilege of entering 
their names, long after the event, in the roll of the 

The vengeance of the king and queen, glutted by 
so many nobler victims, might possibly now have gone 
to sleep ; but old Vincenzo Baccher, father of the two 
young men whom the republicans had so futilely shot 
in Castel Nuovo on June I3th, could not rest without 
an offering to his own special vengeance. Those who 
had called the hasty council of war and pronounced 
the cruel sentence which stained the Republic with a 
useless act of ferocity at her last hour, and those who had 
had it executed had all met a worse fate to satisfy the 
vengeance and appease the fears of the Crown. But the 
old man, who had denounced and relentlessly pursued 
some of the other victims, 1 wanted also the blood of 
the woman for love of whom his son had endangered 
the success of the conspiracy, and who had been the 
cause the helpless, hapless cause of his and his brother's 
death. He saw that Luisa Sanfelice was going to escape, 
and forthwith went himself to Palermo to weep and 

1 See SANSONE : Avvenimenti, etc., p. 158, et seq., for many 
documents showing the activity of this fierce, hard old royalist 
in hunting down all concerned. 

f? 3 ?" -tit 
f I 


\Tojace p. 378. 


complain before the king, working upon his vanity by 
showing him how all Naples knew of the trick by which 
this victim was eluding justice, while the king alone was 
in the dark. 

Accordingly, on July 3ist, 1800, the poor thing was 
taken to Palermo, that the matter of the pregnancy 
might be put beyond a doubt by Sicilian physicians. The 
subterfuge, of course, could be maintained no longer, 
and after remaining twenty-five days at Palermo, she 
was once more embarked, on August 28th, and sent 
back to Naples to be executed. 

Meanwhile, on the 26th, the hereditary Princess Maria 
Clementina gave birth to an heir to the throne, and when 
next morning the king came to see the infant, and asked, 
according to the ancient custom, if the princess had 
any favour to ask of him, she begged the life of Luisa 
Sanfelice. But although it was customary that the king 
on these occasions should grant three requests to his 
daughter-in-law, his face clouded directly ; he threw 
down the baby on its mother's pillows, saying, " Any- 
thing but that," and left the room in anger. 

The same vessel, the Tartaro, which next day bore 
back Luisa Sanfelice in chains to meet her inexorable 
fate, brought to Naples the news of the birth of the 
heir-presumptive and the orders for a week's public 
rejoicings and illuminations. 

The Neapolitans are always only too ready to rejoice, 
but the news that nearly a year after the passing of 
the sentence it was actually to be carried out filled the 
city with horror. " Everyone pitied her," says a manuscript 
of the time, " considering her circumstances, and her 
death, as it were, in cold blood." l 

The death of Luisa Sanfelice, on September nth, 1800, 
brought the long list of victims to a close. In that list 

1 B. CROCK : Studii Storici, etc., p. 201. This little volume 
contains the most recent thoroughly authentic and careful account 
of this most unhappy woman. 


probably the two executions that made the profoundest im- 
pression were the first and the last that of Caracciolo and 
that of Luisa Sanfelice ; and for the same reasons because 
of the cold element of personal revenge conspicuous in 
both, and the abrupt contrast between the well-known 
character of the victims and their fate, so notoriously 


[To face p. 380. 


Review of the state of the kingdom after the restoration Views 
of Troubridge, Sir Arthur Paget, Major-General Paget Reports 
of provincial inspectors State of the political prisoners The 
Court inexcusable Rewards and pensions The lesson un- 
learned '99 a watchword for new generations of patriots. 

" T T 7E are restoring happiness to the kingdom of 

V V Naples, and doing good to millions " 1 : such 
was Nelson's description of the work initiated at Naples 
in June, 1799, by himself and the Hamiltons, inspired by 
the Court. Let us glance briefly at the quality of the 
" happiness " restored, at the extent of the " good " done, 
and it will be enough. 

After spending a month on board the Foudroyant in 
the bay, receiving the surrender of St. Elmo, Gaeta, and 
Capua, and sanctioning the initiation of the executions, 
the king, without having dared to set foot on shore, 
sailed back to Palermo on Nelson's ship, together with 
Acton and the Hamiltons, to keep the festival of Santa 

In Naples, according to a letter written by the queen 
at the end of August to the Emperor, they left in prison 
eight thousand "convicted rabid jacobins," and more 
than as many still at liberty in the city. 2 

The first hint of the real state of matters as left by the 

1 He repeats the same sentiment to Earl Spencer, July i3th, 1799. 
Despatches, Vol. III., p. 409. 
' HELFERT : Fabrizio Ruffo, etc., p. 588. 



king, when the fete of Santa Rosalia called him to Palermo, 
is contained in a letter from Troubridge to Nelson l : 

" I dread, my Lord," said he, " all the feasting etc. at 
Palermo. I am sure your health will be hurt. If so, all 
their saints will be damned by the navy. The king would 
be better employed digesting a good government : every- 
thing gives way to their pleasures. The money spent at 
Palermo gives discontent here ; fifty thousand people are 
unemployed, trade discouraged, manufactures at a stand. 
It is the interest of many here to keep the king away ; 
they all dread reform : their villainies are so deeply 
rooted, that if some method is not taken to dig them 
out, this government cannot hold together. Out of twenty 
millions of ducats, collected as the revenue, only thirteen 
millions reach the treasury ; and the king pays four ducats 
where he should pay one. He is surrounded by thieves ; 
and none of them have honour or honesty enough to 
tell him the real and true state of things." 

And again in another letter : 

"There are upwards of forty thousand families who 
have relations confined. If some act of oblivion is not 
passed, there will be no end of persecution ; for the people 
of this country have no idea of anything but revenge, 
and to gain a point would swear ten thousand false oaths. 
Constant efforts are made to get a man taken up, 
in order to rob him. The confiscated property does 
not reach the king's treasury All thieves ! It is selling 
for nothing. His own people, whom he employs, are 
buying it up, and the vagabonds pocket the whole. 
I should not be surprised to hear that they brought a 
bill of expenses against him for the sale." 

It did not take Troubridge very long to see these 
things : yet Nelson had gone out of his way to deliver 
Naples back into the hands of these people and of the 
government whose mismanagement bred and fostered 
them ; and by his means the nobler minority, struggling 
1 Given by Southey in his Life of Nelson, 


painfully against this overwhelming force of corruption 
and oppression, had been thrust down again under the 
heel of the worthless king and cruel queen, and the very 
powers of darkness once more let loose upon the un- 
happy country for which hundreds had died and were 
to die, as it seemed, in vain. And Nelson, blinded by 
his faith in " the great order and object to down down 
with the damned French villains ! " with " his blood boiling 
at the name of Frenchman," could without a misgiving 
take credit to himself and to the Hamiltons for " doing 
good to millions ! " Well might Troubridge, upon whom 
light gradually dawned, write a little later from Malta 
to his friend at Palermo : " / curse the day I ever served the 
Neapolitan government" Alas ! how many had cause to 
curse that day, and none more than those to whom, as 
to the gallant Troubridge, the name of Nelson was dear ! 

Of Nelson's contemporaries and fellow countrymen who 
had occasion to look into matters at Naples in those 
days it is difficult to find one who was long deceived as 
to the real position of things or the real character of the 
people in power. 

Mr. Paget, who was named to succeed Sir William 
Hamilton as British Ambassador at the Court of the Two 
Sicilies, had scarcely been a week at Naples, on his way 
to Palermo, before he began to have a pretty clear general 
opinion of the state of the kingdom, which a year's 
residence in Palermo did not lead him to modify for the 
better. He was detained at Naples by being unable to 
find a vessel of any sort in which to make the passage ; this 
was probably due to the active meddling of the queen 
and Lady Hamilton, as must also have been the fact 
that he could not get a house. 1 From Naples he wrote 
to Lord Grenville on March 25th, 1800 : 

" From what I can collect there does not seem to exist a 
shadow of anything like order or regularity in any individual 

1 SIR AUG. B. PAGET : The Paget Pagers, etc., Vol. I., p. 190, 
et se. 


department in the State. I have seen and conversed with 
the persons at the head of them all. They all complain of 
the situation of Affairs, and agree upon the positive and 
imperious necessity of the King's return here. They 
frequently petition to that effect, but I understand that 
the King is surrounded by a parcel of timid Sicilians 
who do not fail to represent the danger of such a step. 
I fear that the Junta here l is composed, with one or 
two exceptions, of a corrupt, bad set of men. Law and 
Justice are neither practised nor understood." 

Paget, the cursed Paget, as the queen called him, was 
a fortnight at Palermo before he could present his letters 
of credence, Lady Hamilton having worked upon old 
Sir William to regard his recall as an insult, and to show 
discourtesy to his successor. "It is not to be told the 
pains that were taken by Lady Hamilton to set the 
King and Queen and the whole Court against me even 
before I arrived. I was represented as a Jacobin and 
a coxcomb, a person sent to bully and to carry them 
bon gre* mal gre* back to Naples, and it is enough to 
know the character of people here to be sure that all 
this Jargon had its effect." 

Paget already perceived the character of the Court 
and its surroundings ; he 'was not a man to be swayed 
by "Jargon," and his appearance introduced a new and 
very uncomfortable element among the clique at Court, 
who had hitherto had everything their own way. On 
May 1 3th he wrote to Lord Grenville : 

" Every department of the State, ecclesiastical, civil, and 
military, has assumed the most untoward appearance. 
Instead of Religion there is an excess of bigotry, corruption 
has succeeded to justice, and the fact of calling the 
assistance of Foreign Troops in itself proves what the 
state of the Army must be, and I will further venture 
to say there is not a thinking man in the Country who 
would not gratuitously subscribe to this statement." 

* /,*. the Commission which carried on the Government at Naples. 


And again : 

" I really don't know whether any good is to be done 
with the present generation, so corrupt and so insensible 
to all principles of honour and morality do I think it. 
A total reformation upon the largest and most compre- 
hensive scale ought to take place." 

He says that the laws, from perversion, have become 
execrable, and should be revised ; but there is not a man 
in the kingdom who combines sufficient honesty and talent. 
In truth, there had been such, but they had either 
perished on the gallows, or were languishing in exile or 
in prison : the Bourbons were not favourable to honesty 
and talent. 

The military, Paget says, are in a deplorable state, 
and religion calls for reform. Finally, he avows that he 
is of opinion that nothing useful or good can be effected 
but by " the introduction and direct interference of 
foreigners." Paget does not specify to what foreigners 
the work of regeneration should have been confided, and 
no doubt had his own views. But if an Englishman, after 
a couple of months' study of the Court and the state 
of the country, and with some knowledge of their latter 
history, came to these conclusions, where was the great 
crime of the patriots, justified as they were by an infinitely 
closer knowledge and experience, and thrust into action 
by no choice of their own ? 

As time went on Paget perceived against what a 
solid wall of obstinate resistance he was battering, and 
began to be able to measure the distance between the 
king's promises and their performance. He began also, 
by slower degrees, to peer into the depths of Acton's 
duplicity, which he at first honestly took to be the 
dotage of a man tried by shocks and past his work, 
not able to fathom a policy that regarded absolutely 
nothing but the safety of his own and his master's skin. 
He found it not so easy as he had at first imagined to 
persuade the king to go back to Naples, and in fact 



was never able to persuade him, and began not to 
wonder at his reluctance to trust himself in Naples. " I 
do not exaggerate," he wrote in July, "when I say 
that the greater part of his Nobility is disaffected, 
and the people, under pretence of hatred to Jacobinism, 
are ready and even panting for the moment to commit 
the most horrible excesses." This might be a quota- 
tion from the Diario of De Nicola, so true is it to the 

After a year's fruitless sojourn at Palermo, Paget wrote 
to Lord Hawkesbury : 1 

" When, my Lord, I look around me and reflect upon 
the persons employed in the different departments of 
this Government, I do not understand how the thing 
goes on at all. The fact is that General Acton will not 
employ people who are not blindly devoted to him, 
and he has certainly brought himself to think that 
this is a well-governed State. I always return to a 
position I formerly made. There is neither Army, Navy, 
Commerce, Justice, Agriculture, Religion or Roads 
in these Kingdoms. And as long as General Acton 
remains at the head of affairs I despair of seeing any 
change for the better in them. He will listen to none 
but those who flatter him. At the same time there 
is not a Man in these Kingdoms fit to hold his 
situation. ..." 

When Acton assured him of the " vigour " with which 
the aggressive proposals of the French were to be met, 
and Paget drily observed that "he saw no preparations 
to correspond," he was met by the characteristic answer 
in excuse " that it would be impolitic to create an alarm 
among the People." 

Even Acton, however, occasionally told the truth, and 
that with great naivete". The Russian representative, 
Italinsky, was sent to Paris to try to smooth matters 
and avert the descent of the French, and Acton writes 

1 Paget Papers, Vol. I., p. 322 


to Paget to say he was told, " a King should be settled 
to this Nation in both Sicilyes but never the present 
Family. The same is read to Micheroux in Alquier's 
instructions. This is the worst Blow to us, as against 
a Republic we could find help and a kind of standing 
resolution, but the changing of the King for another will 
disarm immediately the few that were well-disposed. " 1 
From Acton could anything well be more tremendously 
severe ! 

Paget, after more than a year, can only lament the 
situation of Ferdinand, but says he is indebted to himself 
for it : " He has had near two years to put his country 
into a state of defence, and during that time not an 
improvement of any sort whatever, either in his Army, 
Navy or Fortresses has been made." Paget does not 
go so far as to say the king would have been successful, 
but he says very truly that he might have made a good 
fight, and thus won the admiration and goodwill of 
the troops ; " and this would have been the case had 
General Acton, who had the whole resources at his disposal, 
acted with the same degree of spirit that Gallo has done 
at Paris." 2 

A letter of much later date, from Major-General the 
Hon. Edward Paget, written from Milazzo in 1807, shows 
how the corrupt tree continued to bear its corrupt fruit : 
"... we are kept completely in the dark with respect 
to the state of the War, and instead of real Intelligence 
are only now and then answered with the most wonderful 
fabrications from Palermo. It makes one's Heart sick to 
see such a country as this might be so lost and sunk 
by oppression and bad Government. It is necessary to 
see it to believe it, but you have already witnessed it, 
and will therefore agree with me that if Satan himself 
had appeared as a Deliverer, instead of Bonaparte, there 

1 Paget Papers, Vol. I., pp. 336, 337. 

* Note this unprejudiced testimony to the capacity and patriotism 
of Gallo. 


would have been no wonder at his being received with 
open Arms" 1 

While the Bourbon policy was busily tearing up the 
wheat in Naples and carefully fostering the tares, while 
the best men went to the gallows, and all that betrayed 
a gleam of mental activity and capacity were driven into 
exile or shut up in prison, in the provinces began to 
flourish, under the sanction of a transparent political 
mask, that system of brigandage which held its ground 
for some seventy years longer, in fact, than the incapable 
and corrupting Bourbon dynasty held theirs. 

We have followed in more or less detail the march of 
the army of the Holy Faith up to the gates of Naples, and 
have seen how the " Calabrese," whose marked character 
gave name and tone to all, became the terror of the 
city for many months. Long after the army had done 
its work as far as Naples and the restoration of the king 
were concerned, the disastrous effects of its passage 
maintained all the provinces in arms and full of unspeak- 
able disorder. In July of 1799 these lawless and re- 
doubtable masses began gradually to crumble away, and 
those who were not lured on to share the enterprise against 
Rome began to make their way southward towards their 
homes in large armed bands that set the scanty forces 
of the provincial governments at complete defiance. They 
stole everything that took their fancy, massacred when 
they met with opposition, disarming the soldiers who 
resisted them, appropriating their ammunition, and this 
even in such a town as Salerno, always with the pretence 
that their victims were Jacobins. In Sala, in the same 
province, a certain Michele De Donato armed an inde- 
pendent Santa Fede of his own for mere purposes of robbery 
and assassination, and actually drove away the governor 
and his lieutenant and other ministers of justice, and a 

^Paget Papers, Vol. II., p. 289. Letter to Sir Arthur Paget. 
Author's italics. 


number of the better sort of citizens, and remained in 
power with the entire town at his mere discretion. 

And this is no solitary instance. To remedy the crying 
evil, royal inspectors were sent into the several provinces, 
and their reports, one more dreadful than another, are 
now before us, exhumed from the dust of the archives of 
State, and published by Conforti, Sansone, and others. 1 
In Salerno and Terra di Lavoro " reigns a horrible anarchy ; 
the laws are not obeyed, the Magistrate is not recognised ; 
order and public peace are banished. . . ." 

From Castelluccio Mammone and five hundred armed 
robbers spread desolation far and near. Finally, the 
inspector sums up, "that in this Province there is not 
a town or village whose peace is not disturbed by formid- 
able bands of ill-conditioned persons who commit with 
impunity robberies and murders that are inhuman." 
From many little towns the governors report that " among 
the good citizens not one is secure of his life, and they 
are obliged to fly from their homes because of the many 
murders committed by evil-intentioned persons." 

One of the chief alleged grievances are the taxes 
which no one wishes to pay. Certain it is that exemption 
from various taxes was one of the inducements offered 
by Ruffo, with full royal sanction, to enlist in the great 
marauding army; but by the autumn it seems that the 
king no longer found it convenient to keep his bargain, 
and tax-payers and exactors came to blows all over the 
country in consequence. 2 

^UIGI CONFORTI: La Repubblica Napoletana e VAnarchia 
Regia, etc., Chap. X. SANSONE: Avvenimenti, etc., p. 139, 
et seq. 

8 In May, 1800, Mr. Paget, writing to Lord Grenville, comments 
on the state of insubordination of the provinces, especially of 
Calabria and Abruzzo, and says the cause "may be attributed 
to Cardinal Ruffo," who promised exemption from taxes, and 
other immunities, etc., etc., evidently under the impression that 
Ruffo had acted on his own responsibility. How characteristic 
of that paltry Court to lay all the blame on the man who had 
served them so well ! Paget Papers, Vol. I., p. 216. 



About Gaeta the peasants were afraid to go out to the 
fields to work, and the very bishop wrote that he was 
not safe upon his rounds. 

The Governor of Isernia wrote to the king that it 
was impossible to keep down the disorders. In vain the 
populace were commanded or exhorted to give up their 
arms ; the law had lost its only hold upon them, that 
supported by regular force. Some fifty scoundrels, he 
wrote, went armed night and day about the city and the 
neighbourhood, shooting, threatening, beating, wounding, 
assassinating, devastating gardens, burning, imprisoning 
as they pleased, and keeping all honest people in such a 
state of terror that the royal tribunal found itself unable 
to proceed against them for their crimes. 

The same story is repeated in a hundred different 
forms by governors and inspectors from every side. In 
Abruzzo, it was said, the " masses " believed that the 
lives and property of the king's subjects were at their 
disposal. It was perhaps to these scourges of the country 
that Acton referred when he assured Paget that "in 
Abruzzo alone they had thirty thousand anned mass 1 ' 
by way of being prepared to meet a new French invasion ; 
but in fact they were only armed because the royal 
Government was not strong enough to disarm them. 
Indeed, it was natural, after the licence of all that terrible 
spring and summer, that the peasants were afraid to 
lay down their arms, lest accounts should be called for 
and a reckoning made which they were not disposed to 
pay. For want of force the Government was obliged 
tacitly to relinquish most of its pretensions, to let crimes 
go unpunished, to leave the masses armed, and to be 
content with such taxes as it could get. 

At the end of August the Marchese della Valva, 
inspector for Basilicata, wrote thus to the king : 

" From the enquiries made in various places ... I 
have ascertained that in nearly every town there has 
been robbery and pillage, and in many fire also. The 


baser sort have taken the pretext of jacobinism in order 
to rob the property of others, and to wreak vengeance upon 
the better sort who were formerly their oppressors. ..." 

After a long description of the disorders, the complaints 
and accusations, the arbitrary imprisonments and so forth, 
in which he shows how the reputed Jacobins are always 
those who have something worth stealing, and the royalists 
those who have stolen it or want to steal it, he concludes : 

" From what I have had the honour to report, the sublime 
intelligence of your Majesty can well see that to remove 
the anarchy, and to reduce the people to obedience to 
the laws, and to respect for the magistrates, we need 
force. This cannot be formed in the province where 
they are all either traitors, authors of tumults, or guilty 
of robbery, murder and pillage." 

The king, who had made inquisition into thousands of 
cases of pretended Jacobinism, and had pursued those 
whom he considered his personal enemies with unrelenting 
cruelty and pretended " rigour of the law," was indifferent 
to all the bloodshed and anarchy in the kingdom, and 
in the beginning of 1 800 granted a general pardon of all 
the crimes committed by those who had taken part in the 
army of the Santa Fede, making exception of " treason 
against God and the king," poisoning, forging, and one 
or two misdemeanours trivial in comparison with the mass 
of flagrant crimes which thus received the royal sanction. 

Before another year passed, the complaints, in Abruzzo 
at least, were not so much against the " baser sort " as 
against the representatives of the king and the laws, 
governors, judges, tax-collectors, and so on. The old 
abuses were already in full swing : justice was not ad- 
ministered according to the laws, but with a view to illicit 
gains ; the gravest crimes of rich men went unpunished, 
while lesser men were persecuted for small offences. The 
ushers of the tribunals would summon hundreds of 
pretended witnesses to trials that were always going on, 
in order to extort from them fees for exemption from 



appearing. The provinces swarmed with usurers, who 
flourished on the utter misery of the tormented people. 
The tax-collectors exacted far in excess of the prescribed 
sums, and cleared, even off those ruined families, their 
own iniquitous profit of six and seven per cent. Besides 
these, there were the exactors of customs duties, who had 
established a right to their own personal entertainment 
while on their rounds, and of course prolonged the rounds 
in consequence, and, instead of collecting duties for the 
treasury, filled their pockets with the bribes of people 
who preferred to pay a small sum to the collector and 
be let off paying a larger one to the Government. And 
the very inspector who makes this last report says that 
the people are not so much averse to the taxes as 
absolutely unable to pay them from sheer misery and 
ruin, many being absolutely naked, and many starving. 

Such was the result of the policy of the queen and Acton, 
followed by the king ; the immediate creation and legacy 
of the Santa Fede ; the work of the Bourbon-Austrian 
Court of the Church, their ready and willing tool ; and, 
it must be added, of Nelson and the Hamiltons, "the 
mainsprings of the machine." 

Misery increased daily in the provinces, and no means 
were found for alleviating the widespread distress. Even 
more horrible was the condition of the prisoners of State, 
shut up in foul dungeons in Naples, Ischia, and many 
parts of the provinces, without so much as a plank between 
them and the damp earth, without rags to cover them 
withal, decimated by starvation and disease. 

Sansone, in his Awenimenti^ has published extracts from 
petitions made by the prisoners in various parts of the 
kingdom, or by prison governors on their behalf and in 
the name of common humanity. The unhappy prisoners 
over and over again venture to point out to the king, or 
to his minister, that they are imprisoned for " supposed 
jacobinism," for "pretended political crimes"; that their 
sentence was not death, but that they are dying by 


slow starvation, more horrible than execution on the 
gallows. Their homes have been pillaged, their property 
sequestered, their families reduced to ruin, and the State 
allowance to prisoners is constantly withheld. Many 
prisoners found themselves far from their native places 
and out of reach of friends and family, and the prison 
authorities, sure of impunity and even tacit approval, 
appropriated the funds due to the prisoners, and grew 
rich on the extreme misery of the many whom they 
robbed in this way. 

In November, 1800, there were among other prisoners 
in Castel St. Elmo thirty soldiers, prisoners of State, 
represented by the governor as completely naked and 
perishing of cold, owing to the culpable negligence of 
the finance department. After more than two months the 
complaints are still being repeated, and fall upon deaf ears, 
or receive the reply that there are no funds for the purpose. 

On January I2th, 1801, the commandant, General 
de Gambs, wrote that seven of the soldiers in St. Elmo 
had urgent need of medical assistance, but that, being 
completely naked, it was not possible to remove them to 
a hospital until clothes could be supplied. The general 
begged that the administration of the confiscated property 
would immediately provide at any rate such garments 
as were absolutely indispensable. It was two months 
since these men's pitiable and shameful condition had 
begun to wring complaints and remonstrances from 
superiors by no means over-humane. All this time 
they, and hundreds of others in like case, and guilty of 
no particular misdemeanour, had lain naked and starving 
and full of disease upon the bare and filthy ground in 
their prisons, exposed to the winter's cold, reduced as 
they were already by upwards of a year's confinement. 
Their petitions lie piled in the dusty archives of State, 
a living record to the eternal shame of the Bourbon. 

History already stands aghast at the executions that 
for more than a year had been cutting off the noblest 


lives in Naples, at the sentences of exile which sent 
Neapolitans by hundreds to beg and starve in other 
lands ; but if we could recall the life of those days, and 
if it were possible to weigh suffering in a balance, and 
measure it in its length and breadth and depth, we might 
find that the palm of those who are martyrs in deed 
but not in will belongs to these all but nameless, humble 
soldiers of their country's cause, who died by painful inches, 
without, so far as we know, any consoling or uplifting 
conviction, any sense of victory in defeat, or other joys 
that may soothe or sweeten the pangs of martyrdom. 

One should naturally conclude, in excuse of the Court 
that was responsible for these things, that the country 
was bankrupt and the administration at its wits' end 
to lay hands upon a little ready money. But it was 
not so. Side by side in the archives of State lie the 
unheard, repeated petitions of starving and dying men 
and the documents of grants of lands, of sums of money, 
of titles, of pensions great and small, to Nelson, Troubridge, 
Ruffo, Micheroux, Thurn, Pronio, La Marra, Baccher, 
Sciarpa, De Cesari, Fra Diavolo, and an innumerable 
host of minor worthies who had distinguished themselves 
in the royal service, or put in a claim for rewards on 
the ground of loyalty, or because of loss sustained in 
the cause of the restoration. 

All the munificence of the royal gratitude was supplied 
by the confiscated property of the patriots, and the 
recipients vied with one another in specifying what they 
wanted, whose lands would suit them best, and so forth. 
Ruffo, for himself and his heirs, received an annual pension 
of fifteen thousand ducats, to be drawn from any feudal 
lands of that value which he might select. Before the 
end of 1799 Ruffo made his choice, among others, of 
certain lands adjoining the abbey lands of Santa Sofia 
of Benevento, which he had accepted some years before 
as a gift from the king, drawing down thereby upon 
himself a severe remonstrance from the pope, to which 


(Built by Liborio Cirillo in 1728.) 

{To face p. 394. 


he paid no attention. Among the scores of priests who 
came in for a share in the spoils, we find Sacchinelli, 
with a pension of two hundred ducats a year. 

The Conte di Thurn, who presided over the court- 
martial which found Caracciolo guilty and condemned 
him, and Scipione La Marra, his captor, received each 
an annual pension of three thousand ducats. To La 
Marra, in addition, were awarded the house and beautiful 
botanical garden of Domenico Cirillo, where the valuable 
scientific collections of several generations of Cirillo had 
been devastated by the mob. Besides these more con- 
spicuous rewards, a great number of small pensions were 
granted to widows, orphans, and others in humble life who 
had lost the valid arms of their family in the royal cause. 1 

Nor were these all. When the Foudroyant brought the 
triumphant victors back to Palermo to celebrate feast 
after feast at enormous expense, the queen had no lack 
of gold chains, diamonds, jewels, and rich dresses where- 
with to overwhelm the ready and successful instruments 
of her desires. " The value of the presents sent at this 
time by the Queen to the Hamiltons," writes Jeaffreson, 2 
"was computed at six thousand pounds." Nelson and 
the Hamiltons, at one of the absurd and extravagant 
festivals given on this occasion, were crowned by Ferdi- 
nand with laurel wreaths sparkling with diamonds. " If 
I have fag'd," wrote Lady Hamilton, anticipating her 
return to Palermo, " I am more than repaid." 

It must have been a pleasant prospect, thinks Mr. 
JeafTreson, in full sympathy with his heroine, " to get away 
from the capital, where so much ghastly work had been, 
and was still being done, for the sake of order and good 
government, and to forget all about criminal informations, 
and trials, and executions, and stern sentences, and teazing 
supplicants, in the elegant gaieties and delicious repasts of 
the fites, and balls, and concerts, with which the friends of 

1 For pensions, etc., see SANSONE : Avvenimenti, etc.. Chap. XIII 
3 J. C. JEAFFRESON : Lady Hamilton and Lord Nelson, Vol. II., 
pp. 120, 1 1 6, etc. 


order and good government would soon be shewing their 
gratitude to Heaven and the British Navy at Palermo." 

Alas ! Heaven and the British Navy were in very bad 
company, for once; and the less it is whitewashed for 
the sake of posterity, the better for all three ! 

All the party of the restoration were dividing the 
spoil, and as long as it lasted, revelled in wealth and 
what is called pleasure. A little later on the queen found 
means to go to Vienna with her daughters and suite, 
although even Acton remonstrated at the great and use- 
less expense : the Court were never without money for 
their own purposes. Were not Naples and Sicily the 
" patrimony " of their family ? l 

And yet even this view of their rights and of their 
position (of duties, of responsibilities, it is idle to speak 
in connection with the Bourbon-Austrian Court) does 
not justify their policy, fully as stupid as it was monstrous 
and inhuman. 

Within two years, Pepe says, 2 and Pepe was always 
in the thick of the struggle between his country and the 
Bourbon " the misdeeds committed by the Government 
in 1799, so far from taming the spirit of the patriots, 
had invigorated it and increased their number to such a 
degree that few indeed were the citizens of the well-to- 
do classes who were not open enemies of the government." 

After 1799 the Bourbon dynasty visibly degenerated. 
To use the expressive words of a recent writer : " It lost 

'The queen, on this occasion, gave banquets at Florence, and 
on her way to Ancona made a point of passing by Montevarchi 
in order to pay special honour to the famous Sandrina Mari, the 
heroine of the Viva Maria, the Tuscan Santa Fede of '99. At 
Ancona she was profuse of the usual royal presents : snuff-boxes 
in gold and diamonds, jewels, etc., to all who courted her ; watches, 
chains, rings and money ; she gave, moreover, a florin each 
to all the Austrian soldiers then in garrison at Ancona. See 
PIERFILIPPO COVONI : Cronachette Storiche sugli ultimi Due 
Anni del Secolo Passato in Firenze. Firenze, 1892. 

* PEPE: Memorie, etc., p. 109. 


XIX] "WHAT A MAN SOWETH . . ." 397 

all educative vigour ; it had no faith in the moral world ; 
it lingered sixty years between terrors and subterfuges ; 
between revolutions and repressions, neither educating nor 
enlightening, following only the impulses of the populace 
whose worst tendencies it thought it good policy to 
support, and whose religious prejudices a religion that 
was merely external were equalled by its own, whose 
language was its own language." 1 

Acton and the king, who took his cue from Acton, 
attributed to Maria Carolina all the disasters to which 
Neapolitans refer by the brief date '99, and her active 
influence in affairs waned visibly from that time, so that 
after her return from Vienna, M. Alquier wrote of her to 
Talleyrand in 1802 :".... It is very certain that the queen 
now enjoys no credit whatever, and that she is completely 
outside all public affairs. Her turbulent activity is reduced 
to wretched intrigues and to the direction of an extensive 
espionnage, which has been at all times the occupation 
dearest to her heart. The queen has spies even at Paris, 
among the Neapolitan exiles, and the information they 
send her about that pack of idiots and ne'er-do-weels 
excites the effervescence of her brain and causes her the 
most lively terror." 2 

But although her husband and her accomplice blamed 
the queen, they by no means repudiated her policy, if 
policy it can be called. Distrust and contempt for the 
nation remained at the bottom of their long misgovern- 
ment, and neither they nor their successors learned one 
single lesson in the misfortunes and disasters which 
became the hard but effectual school of a new generation 
of patriots. The axe was laid to the root of the Bourbon 
tree at Naples when '99 became the watchword of men 
whose political faith was sealed with the blood of the 
Neapolitan republicans. 

1 RAFFAELE DE CESARE : Una Famiglia di Patriotti, Ricordi di 
Due Rivoluzioniin Calabria. Roma, 1889. Preface. 
* Jeunesse de la Reine Marie Amelie, p. 231. 




BAY OF NAPLES July i^th 


Since my last Dispatch to your Lordship through the 
Channel of Lord St. Vincent of the 2ist of June I have been 
chiefly at sea with Lord Nelson and have not had any oppor- 
tunity of informing your Lordship of what is passing in the Two 

By the means of the King's Messenger Mr. Sylvester who 
joined us here, and is returning with Lord Nelson's Dispatches 
to England I have the singular satisfaction of acquainting your 
Lordship of the infinite Services the presence of His Majesty's 
Fleet under the command of Lord Nelson, has render'd to 
Their Sicilian Majesties, by placing Them again, (as I may almost 
say) on Their Throne of Naples. 

The rapid successes of the Austrians and Russians in the 
north of Italy, affording a fair prospect of its being soon deliver'd 
from the Hord of Robbers with which it has been infested for 
some years passed, obliged the french Directory to withdraw 
most of their Troops from Naples and Rome to reinforce their 
army in the north of Italy having left only weak Garrizons in 
the fortresses of Naples, Capua and Gaeta as in the Castle of 
St. Angelo at Rome. Profiting of this circumstance Cardinal 
Ruffo's army from Calabria having been joined by about five 
hundred Russians and eighty Turks, taken out of some Russian 



frigates and a Turkish vessel that arrived at Brindisi from Corfu, 
was encouraged to push on towards this Capital and having also 
been joined by many parties of Royalists on their March carried 
all before them, and actually got with the assistance of the 
Lazaroni and Royalists possession of this capital on the i3th of 
last month. The french having retired into the Castle of 
St. Elmo and The Jacobins into the Castle Nuovo and the 
Castle del Ovo and into that of the Carmine, where they were 
besieged by Cardinal Ruffe's Army. Lord Nelson after his 
return to Palermo and having disembarked The Hereditary 
Prince and the Sicilian Troops, as mentioned in my last, pro- 
ceeded with His squadron to Maritimo on the Coast of Sicily 
towards Malta to look after the french Fleet, but having had 
certain advice that Lord Vincent's Fleet had been very consider- 
ably reinforced and that the french Brest Fleet had been seen 
steering a different course from that of Sicily, His Lordship 
return 'd to Palermo the igth of June. Their Sicilian Majesties 
having received allarming accounts from Naples that the Calabrese 
army after their Entry into Naples was plundering the houses of 
that city, and setting them on fire under the pretence of their 
belonging to Jacobins, and that Cardinal Ruffo [elated with his 
unexpected successes, was taking upon Himself a power, far 
beyond the positive Instructions of His Sovereign, and] was 
actually treating with His Sicilian Majesty's Subjects in arms, 
and in open Rebellion against Him, earnestly entreated of Lord 
Nelson that He wou'd go immediately with His Majesty's whole 
squadron to Naples, [and prevent if possible the Cardinal from 
taking any steps or coming to any terms with the Rebells, that 
might be dishonorable to their Sicilian Majesties and hurtfull 
to their future Government] and to assist in the reduction of 
the french Garrizons in the Castle of St. Elmo, Capua and 
Gae'ta, and in bringing the Jacobin Rebells to Justice. Lord 
Nelson readily undertook to go and do all that was possible 
for the service of Their Sic n Majesties, having had, as His Lord p 
said, full instructions so to do from the King our Royal Master 
and Their Majesties' most sincere and faithful Ally. The King 
of Naples entreated me also to accompany Lord Nelson, as 
having been so many years acquainted with Naples, and 
particularly as Lord Nelson was not accustom'd to the language 
of the Army according on the 2oth of June we set sail from 
Palermo with the whole of the Squadron, Nineteen Sail of the 


Line, including the Portugheze ships, and were four days on 
our passage to the Bay of Naples. We received from the 
Governor of Procita just before We got into this Bay a 
copy of a most shameful!, Treaty that Cardinal Ruffo had 
made with the french and His Sicilian Majesty's Rebellious 
Subjects, who were by that Treaty to march out of the Castles 
of Naples with all their property and the full honors of War, 
and at their option either to return to Their own homes or be 
transported to Toulon at His Sicilian Majesty's expence; 1 
as a copy of this Treaty is inclosed your Lordship will see 
that had not His Majesty's Fleet arriv'd in time, and the Treaty 
been carried into execution, all the Chiefs of the Rebellion 
wou'd have escaped and others wou'd have remained un- 
molested in the Kingdom to propogate at their leisure the 
same pernicious Maxims that have brought this Kingdom to the 
brink of destruction, and the Honor of Their Sicilian Majesties 
wou'd have remain'd for ever sullied by so unwarranted a Stretch 
of Power of cardinal Ruffo, Their Vicar General, whose ambitious 
views were certainly to favor the Nobles, put himself at their 
head, re-establish the feudal system and oppress the People, 
which is Diametrically opposite to Their Sicilian Majesties' 
intentions, who wish to make the Nobles feel their indignation 
for their late Treachery, ingratitude and disloyalty, and to cherish 
and reward the people by whose Loyalty and bravery (and with 
the aid of Their good allies) The Kingdom of Naples had been 
so speedily recover'd. 

When we anchor'd in this Bay the 24th of June The 
Capitulation of the Castles had in some measure taken place. 
Fourteen large Polacks or Transport vessels had taken on board 
out of the Castles the most conspicuous and Criminal of the 
Neapolitan Rebells, that had chosen to go to Toulon, the others 
had already been permitted with their property to return to 
their own Homes in this Kingdom and Hostages selected from 
the first Royalist nobility of Naples had been sent into the 
Castle of St. Elmo, that commands the City of Naples where 
a french Garrizon and the flag of the french Republic was 
to remain untill the news of the safe arrival of the Neapolitan 
Rebells [always called Patriots by the Cardinal] at Toulon, 

1 Observe the truth here : Ruffo has made the treaty, but the rebels are 
"to march" or "to return to Their homes" have not yet, therefore, left the 



and who were agreable to the Cardinal's Treaty to have been 
convoy'd by a British Mann'd Force. 

Lord Nelson on our first Interview with Cardinal Ruffo told 
His Eminency without any reserve, in what an infamous light 
he view'd the Treaty, and how disgracefull it wou'd be to their 
Sicilian Majesties, whose opinion and Intentions we both knew 
were directly contrary to such a Treaty (Capitulation), which if 
carried into execution wou'd dishonour Their Majesties for 
ever. [The Cardinal persisted in the support of what was done 
as His Eminency said to prevent the Capital from becoming 
a heap of Stones.] 

There was no time to be lost, for the Transport Vessels 
were on the point of sailing for Toulon, when Lord Nelson 
order'd all the boats of His Squadron to be mann'd and armed 
and to bring those Vessels with all the Rebells on board directly 
under the sterns of His ships, and there they remain, having 
taken out and secured on board of His Majesty's ships, the 
most guilty chiefs of the Rebellion. Lord Nelson assured the 
Cardinal at the same time that He did not mean to do any 
act contrary to His Eminency's Treaty, but as that Treaty 
cou'd not be valid until it had been ratified by His Sicilian 
Majesty His Lordship's meaning, was only to secure His 
Majesty's Rebellious subjects untill His Majesty's further pleasure 
shou'd be known. Admiral Caracciolo The Chief of the Rebels 
of His Sicilian Majesty's Marine, not having been comprized 
in the Cardinal's Treaty, but having been taken endeavoring 
to make his escape by land, was by Lord Nelson's orders 
tried on board the Foudroyant by a Court Martial composed 
entirely of Neapolitan Marine officers was condemn'd and hung 
up at the yard arm of the Neapolitan Frigate The Minerva 
[the very same Ship he had with the gunboats of the Neapolitan 
Republic under his command fired upon near Procita] at five 
o'clock in the evening of the same day, where he hung untill 
the setting of the sun, to the great satisfaction of His Sic n 
Majesty's loyal subjects, thousands of whom came off in boats 
with loud applause of so speedy an act of Justice for this 
happen'd the day after the King's Squadron came to Naples. 
His body was afterwards thrown into the sea. We found on 
our arrival into this Bay a general discontent of the People 
and of His Sicilian Majesty's most loyal subjects of the higher 
class, complaining of the rapine and plunder committed daily 


at Naples by the Calabrese and of the evident partiality shewn 
by the Cardinal to the Jacobine party, whilst the Royalists 
and loyal people were brow beaten and denied access to His 
Eminency at his head Quarters at the Ponte Maddalena in the 
suburbs of Naples; not that they accused him of being a 
Traitor but that His Eminency was surrounded by Jacobins 
and venal evil counsellors in short your Lordship can have 
no conception of the Anarchy and confusion at Naples. Lord 
Nelson by sending immediately a Garrison of British Marines 
into the Castle del Ovo and another of sailors under the 
Command of Capt. Hood of the Zealous into the Castle Nuovo 
immediately restored Tranquillity to the distracted Capital, and 
that such of His Sic n Majesty's Rebel Subjects who according 
to the Cardinal's Treaty might escape with impunity might not 
do so, Lord Nelson published at Naples a printed notification, 
a copy of which is enclosed, and which the Cardinal had declined 

The Cardinal finding soon that the whole Confidence of the 
People was withdrawn from him and reposed entirely on Lord 
Nelson, and His Majesty's Fleet, endeavour'd to throw the 
whole weight of affairs on His Lordship and by that means 
cause inevitable confusion ; but We contrived to keep everything 
going on decently, by supporting the King's Vicar General 
untill we had answers from Their Sicilian Majesties at Palermo, 
to whom we had painted exactly the state of affairs, and the 
confusion at Naples, preventing at the same time His Eminency 
from doing any essential mischief, 1 and recommending to their 
Majesties in the strongest manner to show themselves in the 
Bay of Naples as soon as possible by which means, and by 
that alone, all wou'd be calm'd and the Cardinal's dangerous 
power die of a Natural death. 

By the return of the Vessel that carried our Letters to Palermo, 
Lord Nelson received a Letter from the King of Naples in 
His Majesty's own hand writing in which He thanked His 
Lordship for having saved His Honor, approved of all that 
had been done and sent Letters with full powers to appoint 
a New Government and even to arrest the Cardinal and send 
Him to Palermo in a British ship if Lord Nelson shou'd think 

1 This passage exonerates Ruffo from any complicity with the Hamiltons 
and Nelson in deceiving the republicans, whatever his private misgivings 
on the matter may have been. 


it necessary to come to that extremity. His Majesty acquainted 
us also that He was coming Himself directly with General Acton 
and the Prince Castel Cicala into the Bay of Naples according 
to our advice. His Sicilian Majesty embarked the 3rd instant 
on board the Sirene one of his own Frigates accompanied by 
The King's Frigate The Sea Horse but having a numerous 
convoy by bringing with Him from Sicily one Thousand four 
Hundred Infantry, and six Hundred Cavalry, and meeting with 
Calms His Majesty did not arrive in this Bay untill the nth 
instant in the afternoon, and wou'd not suffer His Royal Standard 
to be hoisted untill He got on board the Foudroyant, when 
it went up to the Main Mast head and was immediately saluted 
by the King's whole Fleet and by the Castles at Naples in our 
power, which, with the multitude of boats covering the Sea and 
Surrounding the Ship all full of loyal Subjects calling the King 
their Father, was such a sight as never can be forgotten, at the 
same time Captain Troubridge and Captain Holwell that Lord 
Nelson had detached with all the Marines of the Fleet the five 
hundred Russians and some Portugheze Artillery men were 
keeping up a heavy fire of Mortars and battering Cannon against 
the Castle of St. Elmo, into which strong Fortress the only 
remaining french had taken refuge in number about eight 
Hundred, and the only Castle at Naples on which the french 
Republican Flag was flying. The next morning at day break 
Captain Troubridge unexpectedly open'd a new masked Battery 
within less than two hundred yards of the walls of the Castle 
which in two hours obliged the french to hang out a flag of 
Truce and about eleven o'clock yesterday morning His Sicilian 
Majesty had the compleat satisfaction of seeing from this ship 
His own Flag Triumphant on the Castle of St. Elmo. Inclosed 
is a printed Copy of the Capitulation and which as your Lordship 
will observe is a compleat contrast to the Cardinal's Capitulation 
with the Castle del Ovo, and the Castle Nuovo. 

As His Sicilian Majesty Himself writes to the King by this 
Messenger it is not necessary for me to say anything of the 
Gratitude expressed daily by Their Sicilian Majesties, Their 
Royal Family and Their Loyal Subjects for the signal services 
that have been render'd to them by the King's Fleet under the 
Comand of the Incomparable Lord Nelson, and particularly 
for the last, which as to all appearances has seated Them again 
on Their Throne of Naples. Nothing remains to compleat the 


business but the reduction of Capua and Gaeta in which 
Fortresses there are small french Garrizons. To-morrow a proper 
force goes to Capua under the Comand of Captains Troubridge 
and Holwell who expressed to Lord Nelson a desire of being 
so employ'd, and as Gaeta is closely pressed both by sea and 
land all our business in this Quarter will probably be compleated, 
and satisfactorily, in a few days ; in the meantime His Sicilian 
Majesty holds His Councils with His Ministers on board the 
Foudroyant for the police and better Government of this Capital 
and Kingdom. Your Lordship may well conceive the labours 
that Lord Nelson and I must have undergone in the space 
of time between the arrival of the King and the Cardinal His 
Vicar General's having declined all business. 

I have thus given your Lord p as well as I can recollect the 
substance of what has happen'd during the seventeen days 
that we have been at an anchor in This Bay. I have the 
honor etc 

Sicily, Vol. 12, No. 22. 


z^th June, 1799. 

Horatio, Lord Nelson, Admiral of the British Fleet, in the 
Bay of Naples, gives notice to all those who have served as 
Officers Civil or Military, in the service of the infamous Neapolitan 
Republic that, if, in the space of twenty-four hours for those who 
are in the City of Naples, and forty-eight hours for those who 
are within five miles of it, they do not give themselves up to 
the clemency of the King, to the Officer commanding the Castles 
Uovo and Nuovo, that Lord Nelson will consider them still as 
in rebellion, and enemies of His Sicilian Majesty. 


Translation of the above published at Naples, from a copy in 
the State Paper Office : 

29 Giugno, 1799. 

Orazio, Lord Nelson, Ammiraglio della Flotta Britannica nella 
Rada di Napoli, da notizia a tutti quelli che hanno servito da 


official! nel Militare, e nelle cariche civili 1'infame sedicente 
Repubblica Napoletana, che se si ritrovano nel Circuito della 
Citta di Napoli, debbano in termine di 24 ore, presentarsi ai 
Comandanti del Castello Nuovo, o del Castello dell' Ovo, 
fidandosi alia clemenza di S. M. Siciliana, e se si ritrovano nelle 
vicinanze di delta Citta fino alia distanza di cinque miglia, 
debbano egualmente presentarsi ai detti Comandanti, ma in 
termine di 48 ore ; altrimenti saranno considerati dal sudetto 
Ammiraglio Lord Nelson come ribelli, ed inimici della prefata 
M. S. Siciliana. 1 

Separate and Secret. 

BAY OF NAPLES, July i^th, 1799. 


As Lady Hamilton was very particularly requested by 
the Queen of Naples to accompany me and Lord Nelson on 
this Expedition, and was charged by Her Majesty with many 
important commissions at Naples, and to keep up a regular 
daily correspondence with Her Majesty, I have found the 
Queen's letters to Lady Hamilton so very interesting, doing so 
much honour to the Queen's understanding and Heart, and 
throwing such clear light on the present situation of affairs at 
Naples, that I have prevail'd on my wife to allow me to entrust 
to your Lordship the most interesting of Her Majesty's Letters, 
but not without a solemn promise from me that they should 
be restored to Her by your Lordship on our arrival in England, 
of which I now see a new prospect, as we mean to profit of the 
first ship that Lord Nelson sends downwards, after that Their 
Sicilian Majesties shall have been happily reinstated on Their 
Throne of Naples having had, as your Lordship knows, in my 
pocket, for more than two years, The King's gracious permission 
to return home for a short time to look after my private concerns. 

Your Lordship will receive this packet from the hand of 
Lieutenant Parkinson charged with Lord Nelson's Dispatches 
to Lord Spencer, as I do not wish this letter to be consider'd 
as official and the Queen's Letters are entrusted only to your 
Lordship's well-known discretion. 

The Queen's Letters inclosed are Twelve, Nos. 2, 3, 5, 6, 7, 

1 NICOLAS : Dispatches, III., p. 396. 



TO, 12, 15, 16, 17, 21 and 22. Your Lordship will surely admire 
the just remarks of Her Majesty, written in Her own hand, 
opposite the articles of Cardinal Ruffo's infamous Capitulation 
with the Neapolitan Rebels, and inclosed in N. 5. 
I have the honour to be, My Lord 
Your Lordship's 

most obedient and most 
humble servant 



Translation now in the State Paper Office of the text of the 
capitulation ; and of the comments written by the queen upon each 
article in the margin, published by PALUMBO : Carteggio, etc., p. 76, 
et seq. 

To capitulate with one's own 
Rebel subjects without force without 
hope of succour even by sea with 
people who after the clemency used 
by their King and Father in promising 
them pardon, have fought desperately 
and now come to terms for nothing 
but fear I find that to Capitulate 
with Rebels is to disgrace oneself 
either they should be attacked with 
all our forces or let alone until a 
better opportunity. 

This is real insolence the Rebels 
speak with their Sovereign on equal 
terms and with an air of having 
the advantage of him. 

This is so infamous and absurd a 
thing that I can scarcely bear to 


The Castles Nuovo and of Ovo, 
shall be delivered up to the respective 
Commanding officers of the Troops 
of H.M. the King of the Two 
Sicilies, and of his allies the King 
of England, the Emperor of all the 
Russias and the Ottoman Porte 
together with all their Artillery, 
ammunition, stores and Provisions. 
Inventories of the whole shall be 
taken, by Commissioners to be 
appointed for this Purpose after the 
signature of the present capitulation. 


The Troops serving in the Gar- 
risons, shall remain in the Forts untill 
the Vessels herein-after mentioned 
[be] allotted to convey such parts 
of them as may wish to be removed 
to Toulon, shall be ready to receive 
them, and they shall not evacuate 
the same until the moment of 


The Garrisons shall be allowed the 
Honours of War and shall march 



speak in honour of what of the 
standard of the Rebellion. This is 
so absurd that I don't know how 
anyone could conceive it much more 
sign it. 

As much as to say that the 
Traitors are not to suffer even a 
slight punishment nor deprivation 
for so grave a crime. 

This article makes one ask what 
the troops have come for if the felons 
are to be allowed to stay or go 
without being molested encouraging 
them to begin again with plans better 
laid another time and stimulate the 
disaffected in Sicily to do the same 
seeing there is nothing to lose and 
all to gain. 

If two sexes are named expressly 
it shows that they know that there 
are traitors of both sexes the clause 
proves the fact. 

The same principle continues of 
full liberty and security for the felon 
Rebels so that they may resume their 
wickedness with better success. 

out, with Arms and Baggage, Drums 
beating, Colours flying, Matches 
lighted, with two pieces of Cannon 
each, and shall ground their Arms 
on the Beach. 


The Persons and Property of every 
Individual within the Two Castles 
shall be respected and guaranteed. 


Every Individual shall be at 
Liberty to embark on Board Cartels 
which shall be provided to transport 
them to Toulon, or to remain at 
Naples unmolested together with 
their Families. 


The Terms of the present Capitu- 
lation extend to all Persons of both 
sexes at Present within the Castles. 


The same Conditions shall hold 
good with respect to the Prisoners 
taken from the Republican Troops 
by the Troops of H.M. The King 
of the Two Sicilies and those of his 
allies during the siege 1 of the said 

The absurdity of giving Hostages 
as though we were the conquered 
and the traitors to be dependent on 
a handful of Frenchmen and wait 
for orders renders Naples a vile 
French garrison the British Fleet 
must therefore proceed as it would 


The Archbishop of Palermo, 
Mess r " Micheroux and Dillon and 
the Bishop of Avellino detained in 
the said Castles shall be sent to the 
Commandant of the Castle of St. 
Elmo, where they shall remain as 
Hostages until Accounts shall be 

1 In the Italian it runs : in the divers combats that took place before the 
blockade of the Castles. 



at Toulon Brest Rochefort 
insist on obedience. 

and received from Toulon of the arrival 
of the Prisoners 1 who may be sent 
there according to the Terms of 
this capitulation. 


All other Hostages, and State 
Prisoners confined in the said Castles 
shall be set at Liberty immediately 
after the signature of the present 


The Articles of this Capitulation 
shall not be carried into execution 
until they shall have been approved 
by the Commandant of the Castle 
of St. Elmo. 

I should hope that no one has 
left [the Castles] but all [the rebels] 
be forced to give them their liberty 
with their arms in their hands for 
their honour and the good of the 
Kingdom and City. 

This now is the very extreme of 
baseness and vileness they don't 
demand the approval of their own 
Sovereign against whose orders and 
instructions they act diametrically 
opposite and they demand the 
approval of the Rebels of a little 
number of Frenchmen that proves 
the cowardice [vilia] of the Rebels 
and the inconceivable Treachery 
stupidity or unintelligence \non 
intelligenzd\ of those who signed. 

This is such an infamous treaty 
that if by a miracle of Providence 
some event does not happen to break 
it or destroy it I count myself dis- 
honoured and I believe that at the 
cost of dying of malaria of fatigue of 
a shot from the Rebels the King on 
one side and the Prince on the other 
ought immediately to arm the 
Provinces march against the rebel 
City and die under its ruins if they 
resist but not remain vile slaves of 
the Scoundrelly French and their 
infamous Mimics the Rebels. 

Such are my sentiments this in- 
famous Capitulation if carried out 
afflicts me far more than the loss of 
the Kingdom and will have far 
worse consequences. 

1 In the Italian it is : Individuals. This word Prisoners is a curious slip, 
and shows how this present translation was written after the violation of the 


There is scarcely a stop from beginning to end of the queen's 
notes, written in Italian and in many places incoherent from 
the vehement hurry and passion which drove the pen ; but it 
is very clear that what really fills her mind is intense indignation 
at the bare idea that the republicans should be allowed to 
escape the punishment she is burning to inflict. Observe how 
triumphantly she pounces on the reference to two sexes. 

One wonders whether Lord Grenville agreed with Sir William 
Hamilton in thinking that the queen's communications to 
Lady Hamilton " did honour to her understanding and her 


ANONYMOUS: Sejour d'un Officier Fran$ais en Calabre ; ou 
Lettres propres a faire connaitre r&tat ancien et moderne 
de la Calabre, etc., etc. Paris et Rouen. 1820. 
Archivio Storico per le Province Napoletane, pubblicato a cura 

della Societa di Storia Patria, Napoli [published quarterly]. 1 
Anno V., Fasc. i, 2, 3, 4. Letter e della Regina Maria Carolina 

al Cardinale Fabrizio Ruffo nel 1799. B. MARESCA. 
Anno VI., Fasc. i, 2, 3, 4. Racconti Storici di Gaetano 

Rodinb ad Aristide suo Figlio, per cura di B. MARESCA. 
Anno VIII., Fasc. i, 2, 3, 4. Carteggio del Cardinal Ruffo 
col Ministro A cton da gennaio a giugno 1799. B. MARESCA. 
Anno X., Fasc. i. Ricordi Autografi deir Ammiraglio 

Francesco Caracciolo. B. MARESCA. 
Anno X., Fasc. 2. Ettore Carafa, Conte di Ruvo ; relazione 

del suo cameriere Raffaele Finoia. B. MARESCA. 
Anno XL, Fasc. 4. La Difesa Marittima della Repubblica 

Napoletana nel 1799. B. MARESCA. 

Anno XVI. , Fasc. 2 Ferdinando IV. e V Imperatore Giuseppe 

II. alia Certosa di Napoli nel marzo, 1769. G. CLARETTA. 

Anno XVIIL, Fasc. 3, 4, and XIX. Fasc. i, 2, 3, 4. // 

Cavaliere Antonio Micheroux nella Reazione Napoletana 

dell 1 anno 1799. B. MARESCA. 

Anno XXIL, Fasc. 3, 4, and XXIII. Fasc. i, 2, 3, 4. I Liberi 
Muratori di Napoli nel Secolo XVIII. MICHELANGELO 


Anno XXIV. and XXV., et seq. Diario Napoletano dal 1798 
al 1825. [DE NICOLA.] 

1 This valuable publication is a perennial source of documentary information 
for students of Neapolitan history. See the general index, Part I., embracing 
Vols. I. XX. [1876-1895]; and Part II., embracing Vols. XXI. XXV. 
[1896-1900], compiled by Marchese Maresca, and published by the Societa 
di Storia Patria in Naples. 



Anno XXIV., Fasc. 2. Net Furore della Reazione del 1799. 
Dalle Memorie Inedite di una Guardia Nazionale della 
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Giugno 1799 narrati dal Cav. Micheroux : " Compendio 
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S. M. e de' suoi alleati sino alia Resa di Sant' Elmo." 

Anno XXIV., Fasc. 4. Documenti delV Archivio di Guerra 
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Anno XXV., Fasc. i. EUccisione di Ascanio e Clemente 
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Revolution dans les Deux Sidles deuis 1793. Paris, Amyot, 


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Esq., Life of Nelson, and a previous correspondence on that 


subject. London, printed for J. Hatchard, 1810. Appendix 

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1799. Wien, 1882. 
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Lorena d* Austria e di Toscana. 3* Edizione. Geneva, 

1860. Vol. III. Borboni di Napoli. Not to be taken as 

history, but not without value as giving many traits of Ferdinand 

and Carolina and their surroundings which are unmistakably 

true to life. 


LANCELLOTTI, CAVR. CARMINE : Memorie Istoriche di Fer- 
dinando /., Re del Regno delle Due Sicilie. Napoli, 1827. 
One of the many instructive examples of the way in which 
the historians on the Bourbon side were obliged to treat the 
episode dealt with in the present book. 

MACDONALD : Souvenirs du Marechal Macdonald, Due de 
Tarente, avec une introduction par M. Camille Rousset. 
Paris, 1892. [Finished in 1826.] 

MAHAN, CAPTAIN A. T. : The Life of Nelson, the Embodiment 
of the Sea Power of Great Britain. London, 1897. 2 vols. 

MARINELLI, DIOMEDE : Giornali, pubblicati per cura di A. 
Fiordelisi nella Rivista Novissima, Nos. IX. XVII. Napoli, 
1899. [This little review came to an abrupt end long 1 before the 
complete publication of the diaries of Marinelli. What was 
printed only brings us down to June 12th, 1799.] 

MASCI, FILIPPO : Gabriele Manthone. Discorso pronunziato in 
Pescara il 31 Dicembre, 1899, nella solenne commemorazione 
della di lui morte, con Appendice, Note e Documenti. 
Casalbordino. Nicola De Arcangelis, 1900. 

MINTO, COUNTESS OF : A Memoir of the Right Hon. Hugh 
Elliot. 1868. 

MONNIER, MARC : Un Aventurier Italien du Siecle Dernier. 
Le Comte Joseph Gorani, d'apres ses Memoires inedits. 
Paris, 1884. 

MORGAN, LADY: Italy. Paris, 1821. [Vol. III.] 

MORRISON, ALFRED : Hamilton and Nelson Papers. 

M. S. [initials]: Aureo Regno di Ferdinando IV. Anno 1780, with 
the motto "... Rara temporum felicitate, ubi sentire qucs 
velts, et quce sentias dicer e licet" Tac. hist. L. I. Charac- 
teristic of the happier days of the reign before the French 

M. . . . T. . . . : Memoires Historiques de Mesdames Adelaide 
et Victoire de France. Paris, 1803. 2 vols. 

NICOLAS, SIR NICHOLAS HARRIS: The Dispatches and Letters 
of Vice- Admiral Lord Viscount Nelson, with notes. London, 

Nisco, NlCCOLA : Francesco II. , Re. Napoli, 1887. 

ORLOFF, M. LE COMTE GREGOIRE, Senateur de 1'Empire de 
Russie : Memoires Historiques, Politiques et Litteraires sur 
le Royaume de Naples, public, avec des notes et additions, 
par Amaury Duval, Membre de 1'Institut Royal de France. 
Paris, 1819. 

PAG ANO, MARIO : Saggi Politici. Napoli, 1783. 

Diplomatic and Other Correspondence of the Right Hon. 
ir Arthur Paget, G.C.B., 1794-1807. London, 1896. 2 vols. 


PAHL, JOHANN GOTTFRIED : Storia delta Reptibblica Partenopea, 
tradotta da Benedetto Maresca. Trani, V. Vecchi & C., 1889. 
The original was published in 1801. 

PALERMO, EMANUELE : Breve Cenno Storico Critico su la 
Reptibblica Napoletana. MS. in the Biblioteca Nazionale, 
Naples [1800]. 

PALUMBO, RAFFAELE : Maria Carolina, Regina delle Due Sicilie 
Suo Carteggio con Lady Emma Hamilton. Napoli, 1877. 

PARISI, RAFFAELE : Liber t,f rater nite Tutto a me, niente a te ! 
in La Settimana, Rassegna di Lettere, Arti e Scienze, diretta 
da Matilde Serao. Napoli, 1901. Anno I. Nos. 8 and 12. 
Amusing little articles in which the writer publishes the bills 
for the dinners of Championnet in 1799, and other items which 
give an idea of what it cost Naples to maintain the French 

PEPE, GENERALE GUGLIELMO : Memorie intorno alia Sua Vita, 
e ai Recenti Casi d 1 Italia, scritte da lui medesimo. Parigi, 

PERRONE, CLODOMIRO : La Storia della Repubblica Partenopea 
del 1799, e vita de> suoi uomini celebri. Napoli, 1860. Full 
of errors in detail, but not without interest. 

PETROMASI, DOMENICO: Storia della Spedizione dell' Eminen- 
tissimo Cardinale Don Fabrizio Ruffo. Napoli, 1801. 

PETTIGREW, T. J. : Memoirs of the Life of Vice- Admiral Lord 
Viscount Nelson, K.B., Diike of Bronte, etc., etc. London, 

Piozzi, MRS. : Glimpses of Italian Society in the Eighteenth 
Century [From the "Journey"], with an Introduction by the 
Countess Evelyn Martinengo Cesaresco. London, 1892. 

RACIOPPI, GIACOMO : Storia deiPopoli della LucaniaeBasilicata. 
Roma, 1889. 

RICCIARDI, G. : Martirologio Italiano dal 1792 al 1847. Firenze, 

RICCIARDI, G. : Memorie Autografe d'un Ribelle. Milano, 1873, 

RICCIO, MINIERI CAMILLO: Breve notizia deir Erbario di 
Ferrante Imperato. Rendiconti dell' Accad. Pontaniana, 
Vol. XI., 1863. Nine out of the eighty volumes of the herbarium 
of the famous sixteenth-century naturalist were in the posses- 
sion of Domenico Cirillo. On the evening of the disastrous 
I3th of June, 1799, they were all destroyed but one, now in 
the National Library at Naples, where its unique value is 
perhaps not sufficiently recognised. 

ROSE: The Diaries and Correspondence of the Right Hon. 
George Rose, containing original letters of the most dis- 
tinguished Statesmen of his day. Edited by the Rev. Leveson 
Vernon Harcourt. London, 1860. 2 vols. 



SACCHINELLI, ABATE DOMENICO : Memorie Storiche sulla Vita 
del Cardinale Fabrizio Rutfo. Napoli, 1836. (i a edizione.) 

SAINT- AMAND, IMBERT DE: La Jeunesse de la Reine Marie- 
Amelie. Paris, 1891. 

SANSONE, ALFONSO : Gli Awenimenti del 1799 nelle Due Sicilie. 
Nuovi Documenti. Palermo, 1901. 

SCHIPA, MICHELANGELO : // Regno di Napoli sotto i Borboni. 
Napoli, 1900. 

SETTEMBRINI, LUIGI : Ricordanze della mia Vita. Napoli, 1879. 
2 vols. 

SILVAGNI, DAVID : La Corte e la Societa Romana nei 
Secoli XVIII. e XIX. 3' edizione. Roma, 1884. 

SIMOND, L. [Auteur des Voyages en Angleterre et en Suisse]. 
Voyage en Italie et en Sidle. Paris, 1828. 2 vols. 

SOUTHEY, R. : Life of Nelson. J. Murray, London, 1813. 2 vols. 

SPINAZZOLA, VITTORIO: Gli Awenimenti del 1799 in Napoli, da 
nuove ricerche e documenti inediti del Museo di S. Martina. 
Napoli, 1899. 

TORRE, Due A DELLA [Ascanio Filomarino] : Descrizione del 
Gabinetto Vesuviano da lui posseduto. Napoli, 1796. 

TURIELLO, PASQUALE : // Fatto di Vigliena [13 Giugno, 1799]. 
2 m edizione. Napoli, 1881. The testimony afforded by the recol- 
lections of the various survivors of Vigliena is unanimous in 
saying that among the defenders of the little fort there was 
a common resolution to fire the powder in the last resort and 
"to die with the name of the Republic on their lips," sooner 
than yield. But testimony does not agree as to which of those 
young patriots it was who actually carried out their desperate 
resolve. To the present writer, on re-reading the evidence 
after having written the foregoing account, it appears most 
probable that while all were united in the heroic purpose, 
Toscani, as commander, mortally wounded as he was, gave 
the order, which Martelli, and perhaps also Pontari, executed. 
Survivors, recalling the heroism of Vigliena as a thing common 
to all its little band of defenders, naturally spoke afterwards 
some of him who commanded, and some of one or the other 
of those who carried out the final act of firing the magazine, 
without attaching importance to the mere detail. But as the 
thing recedes and becomes a matter no longer of memory, but 
of tradition, the points that have caught the light assume 
undue importance in proportion to the whole ; and although 
we may be grateful to the controversy that has decided so 
many points of interest about Vigliena, we need not vex our- 
selves with questionings as to where the palm is due when 
all were one in that resolve. 
ULLOA, PIERRE C. : Pensees et Souvenirs sur la Litterature 


Contemporaine du Royaume de Naples. Geneve, 1858. 

Vol. I. 
ULLOA, P. C., Duca di Lauria : Di Bernardo Tanucci e dei suoi 

tempi. Napoli, Pansini, 1875. 
VANNUCCI, ATTO : / Martiri della Liberia Italiana dal 1794 

al 1848. 6* edizone. Milano, 1877. 3 vols. [Vol. I.] 
VILLARI, PASQUALE : Nelson, Caracciolo e la Repubblica 

Napoletana {1799}, Nuova Antologia. 16 Febbrajo, 1899. 
VIVENZIO, NICOLA : Dell 1 Istoria del Regno di Napoli e Suo 

Governo dalla Decadenza deir Imperio Romano infino al 

presente Re Ferdinando IV. Nuova edizione. Napoli, 1816. 

[Con licenza] 2 vols. For an example of the way in which a 

licensed Bourbon historian was constrained to treat the episode 

of the Neapolitan Republic, it is enough to read, in Vol. II., 

PP. 333 and 334. 
WINSPEARE, DAVIDE : Storia degli A busi Feudali. Dedicata al 

Re. 2 Tomi. Napoli, presso Angelo Trani. 1811. 
YOUNG, ARTHUR : Travels in France during the Years 1787, 1788, 

1789, edited by M. Betham Edwards. 3rd edition. London, 

YOUNG : Le Notti di; traduzione poetica di Giuseppe Bottoni. 

Siaggiungono i tre Canti del Giudizio Universale trasportati 

in versi italiani da Clemente Filomarino, Napoletano, dei 

Duchi della Torre ; e i due Canti La Forza della Religione 

o I'Amor Vinto, recati or a per la prima volta in versi 

italiani. Tomi II. Vercelli, 1781. 


recall the king, 363 

Aboukir, Battle of, 66 

ACTON, JOHN, comes to Naples, 1 5 ; 
ascendant over the queen, 15; 
preposterous salary, 18 ; in- 
capacity, 19, 386 ; builds the fleet, 
20 ; boundless influence, 20 ; 
despatch on the condition of 
Puglia, 28 ; interest in maintain- 
ing corruption, 28, 29 ; shares the 
royal flight from Naples, 94 ; 
inimical to Ruffo, 171 ; ambiguous 
letters to Ruffo, 25 1 ; tells the 
truth for once, 386, 387 ; objects 
to the queen's going to Vienna, 
396 ; blamed the queen, 397 

ADELADE DE FRANCE, see Mesdames 
de France 

Provisional Government, 124; 
hanged, 340 [note] 

ALQUIER, BARON, describes Maria 
Carolina, 15, 17, 397 

Altamura, 224; attacked by Ruffo, 
227 ; sortie by night from, 228 ; 
massacre of royalists there by 
republicans, 229, 230 

Amnesty, signed at Palermo, 376; 
proclaimed, 377 

Anarchy in the provinces, 388, 389, 
et seq. 

ANDRIA, DUCHESS OF, 45 ; mistress 
of the robes, 46 ; arrested by the 
mob, 273 

Andria, feudal town of the Carafa r 

195 ; birthplace of Ettore Carafa, 

196 ; taken and burnt by Broussier 

and Carafa, 197 
Annunztata, The, foundling hospital 

at Naples, 30 
Antonio, St., a patron saint of 

Ruffo, 252; represented with a 

bundle of cords, 272 
ARRIGHI, cited, 92. 
ASCOLI, DUKE OF, protects the king's 

flight from Rome, 86 
Avigliano, 235 

BACCHER, GERARDO, admirer of 

Luisa Sanfelice, 157; shot in 

Castel Nuovo, 378 
BACCHER, MAJOR, on guard at the 

Granili, 268 
BACCHER, old VINCENZO, wants his 

victim, 378, 379 ; his reward, 394 
BACCHER, The, conspiracy of, 153, 

154, 241 
BADHAM, F. P., cited, 295, 296, 299, 

307, 316, 324, 350 

BAFFI, PASQUALE, Member of Pro- 
visional Government, 124, 125 

help Caracciolo to escape, 323 
BAGNARA, DUKE OF, an absentee 

landlord, 177 
BAILLIE, CAPTAIN, Irish commander 

of Russians, 234 
BALL, CAPTAIN, sent by Nelson to 

Ruffo, 286, 288 




Banks, State of, 136 

Barletta, republican headquarters 
in Puglia, 195 ; illuminated for 
the taking of Andria, 200 

Basilicata, Political sentiment in, 
148, 149 


BASSVILLE, Assassination of, pretext 
for invasion of Rome, 135 

at Ischia, 374 

Battle of the Maddalena, 253, 254 

BAUSAN, GIOVANNI, captain in 
Neapolitan navy, 95 

BELMONTE, PRINCE OF, shares royal 
flight from Naples, 94 

tion against Laubert, 125 

BELPULSI, GENERAL, 165 ; given up 
by Mejean, 318 

BENEDETTI, ABATE, a miraculous 
Madonna, 60 ; notes arrival of 
Ferdinand, 83, 84 

BERIO, MARCHESE, poet and friend 
of Goethe, 34 ; in the Granili, 261 

BERTHIER, GENERAL, enters Rome, 
62; messages to Neapolitan 
Government, 63 

Bianchi, The, with the condemned 
prisoners, 344, 345, 346, 351, 371 

politan finance, 18, et seq.\ on 
feudal abuses, 24, et seq. ; on 
beggars and charity, 29 ; on over- 
proportion of clergy to population, 
31 ; on the first State trials, 53; 
cited, 19, 20, 23 

Naples, 311 ; his edict, 311, 312 

BocguET, LIEUTENANT, in St. Elmo, 
291 ; his memoir, 291 

BONECHI, Tuscan agent at Naples, 8 

BOTTA, CARLO, mistaken as to 
Ettore Carafa, 194, 199 ; on the 
execution of Pagano, 355 ; cited, 

BRANDI, capo-lazzaro, in St. Elmo, 
in ; seized by the patriots, 112 

British fleet, a bulwark for a few 
cowards, 287 

191, 195; attacks Andria, 196, 
197 ; sacks the town, 198 ; attacks 
Trani, 200 ; recalled, 201 

BUONAPARTE, occupies the lega- 
tions in Rome, 62 ; safe in Egypt, 
66; financial operations, 135; 
taunt to Maria Carolina, 330 

at Rome, 62 

CAFARELLI, SCIPIO, president of the 
municipality of Tito, 236; arrest 
and death, 236; death or imprison- 
ment of all his family, 236; heroism 
of his wife, 236 

CAFIERI, ANASTASIO, too fond of 
novelties, 44 

CAIVANO, NICOLA, stoned to death 
at Picerno, 235 

Calabrese Legion, The, 248 ; motto, 
248 ; at the Maddalena, 253 

CALABRITTO, DUKE OF, captain of 
royalist union, 154 

Camiciotti, The, good soldiers de- 
spised by the Republic, 137 ; they 
conspire, 154 

ships, 100-103 ; correspondence 
with Pignatelli, 101 ; abortive 
court-martial upon, 102 

bassador at Naples, 61 

Cannibalism of the mob, 273, 352 

CANTU, CESARE, cited, 18, 20, 87 


Capi-Lazzari, " set on by the 
English," 293 

Capitulation of the castles, agreed 
upon, 280 ; general terms, 280 

Capitulations of Pescara, Baia, etc., 
all violated, 373 



politan admiral, 90 ; probably not 
trusted by the Court, 90 ; journal 
on the Sannita, 94 ; position con- 
trasted with that of Nelson, 95 ; 
Miss Knight's recollection of him, 
96; his arrival at Naples, 152; 
takes command under the Re- 
public against the English, 218; 
first proclamation, 218; feeling 
towards the English, 218, 219; 
in action at Castellamare, 219; 
one well-fought day, 220 ; ordered 
to attack Procida, 220 ; official 
report, 221 ; supports Schipani 
at Torre Annunziata and Resina, 
222, 250 ; and the republicans at 
the bridge, 254, 256 ; retires into 
the arsenal, 256 ; in hiding, 323, 
324 ; mistrusts Ruffo, 323 ; taken, 
324 ; his fate decided, 325 ; his 
trial, 327, 328, 329 ; sentence, 330, 
331 ; too capable to be allowed 
to live, 333 ; his leave of absence, 
334> 335 J custody of Pignatelli, 
334, 335 J beloved in Naples, 336 ; 
"ingratitude," 336, 337; his 
honoured grave, 341 

in St. Elmo, 1 1 1 

CARAFA, CARLO, 365, 367 

CARAFA D'ANDRIA, R., cited, 86, 
196, 197, 198, 372 

CARAFA, ETTORE, appears in a 
scarlet waistcoat, 45 ; at Paris, 
46 ; enlarges his mind, 47 ; prints 
the Declaration, 47; declines 
Court favour, 50; arrested, 51; 
escapes, 63 ; sets out for Puglia, 
189, 190 ; his doings in the north, 
191 ; the only successful re- 
publican leader, 192 ; his account 
of Montuoro, 192, 193 ; his 
humanity, 194, 199; tries to save 
Andria, 196, 197 ; report to Pro- 
visional Government, 198 ; before 

Trani, 201 ; retires into Pescara, 
202 ; letters to Manthone, 202 ; 
holds the last outpost of the Re- 
public, 250 ; besieged in Pescara, 
365, 366, 367 ; agrees to capitu- 
late, 367; consents to dine with 
Pronio, 368 ; taken prisoner, 369 ; 
fit match to Caracciolo, 370 ; is 
sent to Naples, 370, 371 ; bar- 
barously treated in prison, 371, 
372 ; his execution, 372, 373 


of Popoli, helps with earthwork 
at the Mole, 220; the queen's 
comment on her patriotism, 250 ; 
described by Ricciardi, 273 ; ex- 
iled, 360 

CARBONARA, shares the fate of 
Andria and Trani, 201 

CARLO III., of Bourbon, leaves 
Naples for Spain, I ; continues 
to direct Neapolitan affairs, I ; 
his ship-building crusade, 20 ; 
grants troops to the provincial 
tribunals, 27 

Carmine, Castello del, taken by 
Sanfedisti, 259 

Cartelli, put up anonymously, 154 

Casali di Bari, join the sack of 
Altamura, 228 

DUCHESSA DI, 115, 143; helps 
with the earthwork at the Mole, 
220; the queen's comment on her 
patriotism, 250; hunted out by 
the mob, 273 ; exiled, 360 

royal flight from Naples, 94 ; gives 
carte blanche for martial law 
upon " ill-intentioned persons," 

Casteldelmonte, feudal town of the 
Carafa, 195 

Castelluccio, a stumbling-block to 
Schipani, 189 



Catanzaro, taken by the Sanfedisti, 

Ceglie, shares the fate of Andria 
and Trani, 20 1 

from Rome, 83 ; proclamation to 
the adorners of their country, 85 ; 
resolves to invade Naples, 87 ; de- 
clines Mack's sword, 105 ; spoke 
Italian, 122; ingratiates himself 
with S. Gennaro and the populace, 
1 22 ; appoints Provisional Govern- 
ment, 124; tries to rouse the 
laszari to "civic sentiments," 
130 ; remits price of armistice 
and levies indemnity, 136; Vae 
Victis, 137; orders restitution of 
stolen arms, 146; indignation 
against Faitpoult, 147 ; recalled 
to Paris, 147 ; death, 147 ; regretted 
by the Neapolitans, 147 

Charitable institutions, 29, et seq. 


Chronicler of Altamura, 227; de- 
scribes the Christian Army, 227 ; 
and the sack, 231, 232 

CIAJA, IGNAZIO, poet, arrested, 56; 
his letters from prison, 56 ; set 
free, 63 ; member of Provisional 
Government, 124; execution, 357 

CIMBALO, FRA, cannot write for 
tears, 223 


Botany and of Medicine, 36; 
visits France and England, 37 ; 
Fellow of the Royal Society, 37 ; 
friendship for Linnaeus, 37 ; his 
Discorsi Accademici, 37 ; disposi- 
tion and character, 37 ; describes 
prisons, 37; hospitals, 38; brought 
to trial, 348 ; execution, 355 ; letter 
to Lady Hamilton, 355 ; " chose 
to play the fool," 356 ; dresses for 
execution, 356; supported pro- 
posal to recall the king, 363 


"City," The, petitions the Regent, 
98, 99, 101, 103 ; raises National 
Guard, 99 ; declares impossibility 
of raising money, 105 ; hampered 
by excessive loyalty, 106 

CLARETTA, G., cited, 10 

CLARKE and M'ARTHUR, cited, 101, 

CLEMENTINA, of Austria, bride of 

Francesco, Prince Royal, 28, 41 ; 

gives birth to an heir, 379 ; is 

refused her one boon, 379 
Clergy, Proportion of, to population, 

3L 32 

Coco, VINCENZO, cited, 127; His- 
torical Essay i 133 ; observations 
on military resources of the Re- 
public, 137; on the ignorance of 
the republicans, 150; confidant of 
Luisa Sanfelice, 158; exiled, 358 

COLACE, ONOFRIO, condemned, 362 ; 
gave himself up, 374; irregular 
trial, 375 

COLLETTA, CARLO, cited, 198 

feudal South Italy, 23 ; estimate 
of numbers of lazzari, 29 ; on 
the integrity of the republicans, 
1 50 ; mistaken as to Ettore Carafa, 
194, 199; justified about Picerno, 
2 3 5 2 36 i share in bringing about 
capitulation, 284, 285 ; cited, I, 8, 

59. 9i, 34i 


boldly to the regent, 98; his 

trial in 1800, 98 
COLONNA, GIULIANO, arrested, 47 ; 

set free, 63 ; arrested again, 

326 ; condemned, 349 ; executed, 


Compagnia del Bullettim, 1 54 

of Ecclesiastical Law, 36 
CONFORTI, LUIGI, cited, 28, 66, 82, 



99, 182, 227, 236, 255, 291, 344, 

372, 389 
Conspirators, in communication with 

the English at Procida, 1 56 
CONTARD, GENERAL, consigns to 

Carafa Civitella, Aquila, and 

Pescara, 202. 

Convicts, landed in Calabria, 179 
Corato, feudal town of the Carafa, 

CORBARA, taken for the Prince 

Royal, 185 ; interview with Mes- 

dames de France, 187; taken by 

pirates, 188 

Cotrone, taken by the Sanfedisti, 181 
COVONI, PIERFILIPPO, cited, 81, 396 
CRESCERI, Secretary of Austrian 

Embassy at Naples, describes 

state of Naples in January, 1799, 

CROCE, B., cited, 45, 50, 85, 125, 

162, 206, 235, 248, 272, 349, 353 

Culloden [Captain Troubridge], off 

Procida, 205, 212 

D'AGNESE, ERCOLE, hanged in spite 
of enormous bribe to the Junta, 

DANERO, GENERAL, Commandant 
of Messina, 171; his report on 
the state of the fortress, 172; 
superseded, 173 

DARIO, BARON, of Chieti, seen re- 
viewing brigands, 203 

D'AYALA, MARIANO, cited, 324 


1 86 

Scipio Cafarelli, 236 

DE CESARE, RAFFAELE, cited, 397 

DE CESARI, marauding general, 188 ; 
his reward, 394 

DE DEO, EMANUELE, hanged, 54; 

his constancy, 55 ; pupil of Lau- 
bert, 124 

DE DONATO, MICHELE, has a little 
Santa Fede of his own, 388. 

DELFICO, combats corruption, 28 

SCIPIO, at Avellino, 237 

DELLA ROSSA, brothers, share in 
the conspiracy of the Baccher, 
153 ; shot in Castel Nuovo, 378 

the battle of the bridge, 253, 254 ; 
of his arrest and captivity, 262, 
263, 264, 265, 266 ; description of 
street scenes, 270, 271 ; cited, 
244, 248, 259 

DE MARCO, MARCHESE, gives cold 
comfort, 248 

" Democratisers," 132 

DE NICOLA, writer of the Diario 
Napoletano, voices popular senti- 
ment on the king's mistrust of 
the nation, 93 ; comments on 
Provisional Government, 141 ; 
comments on the advance of the 
royalists and the probable retreat 
of the French, 242, 246 ; and on 
the fatuity of the Government, 
243 ; notes arrest of Caracciolo, 
324 ; popular opinion on the vio- 
lation of the capitulation, 347 ; 
sneers at Pagano, 348 ; laments 
that the king is so ill-advised, 359 ; 
and the corruption and ferocity 
of the Junta, 359, 360 ; a piece of 
his mind on the populace, 361 ; 
and on the executions, 362, 363 

DENON, M., charge d'affaires at 
Naples, a little light on Ferdinand's 
character, 52 

under Ruffo, 176 


under Caracciolo, at Procida, 221 ; 
executed, 221 
Destruction of the gunboats, by 



Pignatelli, 100; of the ships of 

war, by Commodore Campbell, 

Di MAIO, MARQUIS, at the Madda- 

lena, 253 
Di MARZIO, shot by the republicans 

in Altamura, and revives, 230 
Divided counsels in the city, 103, 

et seq. 

DORAN, DR., cited, 2, 8, 16 
DRUSCO, ABATE P., cited, 45, 193, 

204, 206, 219 
DUCLOS, CH., proportion of clergy 

to population, 31 ; of lawyers, 32 ; 

cited, 31, 162 
DUHESME, GENERAL, in Abruzzo, 

87; in Puglia, 189, 190, 194, 195; 

robs the post, 195 
DUMAS, A., an Italian proverb, 166 ; 

cited, 183, 234, 281, 284, 300, 

311, 321, 325, 328, 331, 332, 358, 


DUPHOT, GENERAL, killed in Rome, 


DURANTE, cited, 255 
DUVAL, AMAURY, on Acton, 19; on 

persecution of the French at 

Naples, 44 ; on first State trials, 

53 ; on fanaticism of the populace, 

58 ; cited, 44, 105, 167 

Eletti, The, 98; tried for treason, 
98 ; their debates on the reception 
of the French, 104 

ELLIOT, HUGH, British Ambassador 
at Palermo, 6, 7 ; his views con- 
trasted with those of Nelson, 224 

English, the " hated by all good 
patriots," 212 ; are to be saddled 
with the odium, 213, 214, 312, 335 ; 
carry out the treaty, 298 ; are 
to bear the responsibility, 317; 

writers, unfair advocates, 


Estimates of numbers massacred 

by the mob in Naples, 274 
Executions begin, 344 

Facsimile [in Sacchinelli] of paper 
brought to Ruffo by Troubridge 
and Ball, 296, 297 

FAITPOULT, sent by the Directory, 
146; expelled by Championnet, 
147 ; brought back by Macdonald, 



distinguished patriot officer, 91 ; 
foredoomed, 210; sent into 
Puglia, 248 

FERDINAND IV., succeeds to throne 
of Naples, I ; different styles, I 
[note] ; defective education, I, 
et seq. ; passion for hunting and 
sports, 3, etscq.\ Hackert's opinion 
of him, 3 ; Mrs. Piozzi's opinion, 
3 ; his character, 5 ; letters to his 
father, 6, 7 ; childish and cruel 
pastimes, 7, 8 ; " lark " at San 
Martino, 9 ; letters to Carlo III. 
a propos of his wife, the Free- 
masons, and Tanucci, 12, 13, 14; 
appoints a State Junta, 51 ; 
"scenes" with the queen, 52; 
the " Philosopher," 77 ; proclaims 
war, 82 ; threatens reprisals on 
sick and wounded, 83 ; ready to 
run, 85 ; runs, 86 ; issues a war- 
like edict from Caserta, 87; 
brusque reception of city deputies 
and of the Marine, 93 ; flight from 
Naples, 94 ; arrests Pignatelli for 
flying from Naples, 109 ; ready to 
run from Palermo, 149; finds 
Ruffo too lenient, 183; a flying 
visit to Mesdames, 186; grows 
facetious, 207 ; keeps his troops 
for himself, 234; suspects the 
fugitive officers, 234 ; incapable 
of gratitude, 237 ; no notion of 



pardon, 281 ; Naples or the 
Hottentots, 282 ; might have been 
persuaded, 282 ; " like a clown," 
321 ; afraid to land at Naples, 
340 ; face to face with the dead, 
341 ; implacable against Luisa 
Sanfelice, 358 ; "ill-advised," 358, 
359 ; message to Promo at Franca- 
villa, 369, 370; kings keep no 
promises, 375, 389; sails back in 
triumph to Palermo, 381 ; pardons 
many malefactors, 391 ; laid all 
the blame on the queen, 397 

FERRERI, ALESSANDRO, royal courier, 
massacred by the mob, 91 

Feudal system, 22-29; taken in 
hand by the Republic, 133 ; "fast 
breaking up," 339, 340 

FIANI, NICOLA, outrage on dead 
body of, 351 [note] 


FILIPPO, of Bourbon, set aside 
from succession, 2 


TORRE, 112; a good royalist, 112; 
prepares for flight, 113 ; attacked 
in his palace and seized by the 
mob, 115; shot by the lazzari, 


and man of letters, 115, 116; 
seized by the mob, 115; his 
derangement, 116; shot by the 
lazzari) 116 

TORRE, extracts from his memoirs, 
iiT^etseq.', description of anxiety 
in Naples, 113; of the outrage 
upon his father and uncle, 115- 

FINOIA, servant of Carafa, 366, 368 ; 
believes in Pronio, 369 

Flight of the Court to Palermo, 94, 

FOOTE, CAPTAIN E. J., commanding 

in the Bay of Naples, 277 ; sent 

to Palermo, 343 
FORGUES, E. D., cited, 17 
FORTUNATO, G., cited, 235, 237, 357 
FRA DIAVOLO, terror of Campania 

Felice, 148 ; his reward, 394 
France, a bruised reed, 225, 252 
FRANCESCO, Prince Royal of Naples, 

betrothed to Maria Clementina 

of Austria, 41 
Francis II., Emperor of Austria, 

nephew and son-in-law of Maria 

Carolina, refuses to begin war on 

France, 81 
Franco-Spanish fleet, 252 ; expected 

by Ruffo, 277 ; supposed to be in 

sight, 285 
French, The, begin to march out of 

Naples, 243 ; " are departing," 245 

GAGLIARBO, cited, 31 

GALANTI, G. M., on feudal abuses, 

26 ; on foundling hospitals, 30 ; 

on the Incurabili, 38; cited, 31, 


GALIANI, VINCENZO, hanged, 54 
Gallo-Ispana, a forlorn hope, 220, 

245, 247 
GALLO, MARCHESE BI, Minister for 

Foreign Affairs, 79 ; in time of 

need, 80; incidental tribute to 

his capacity and patriotism, 387 
GAMLIN, HILBA, cited, 80 

Neapolitan prisoners of State, 57 ; 

" les revenans les plus terribles," 

GAROFANO, young artillery officer 

under the Republic, killed at 

Castellamare, 219 
GEMINIANI, Roman satirist, 167 
Generals, of the Republic, in name 

only, 248, 249 
GENNARO, SAN, patron of Naples, 

in; his miracle, 161 ; in disgrace, 

162, 252 



GENOVESI, ANTONIO, First Professor 

of Political Economy in Europe, 34 

Envoy at Vienna, 79 
GIAQUINTO, combats corruption, 28 
GIGLIO, GASPARE, friend of the 

elder Settembrini, 267, 268 
GINEVRA, CAPTAIN, with Carafa in 

Pescara, 203, 204; warns Carafa 

of a plot to kill him, 368, 370 
Gioia, in Calabria, scene of an ex- 
periment by Kuffo, 177 
Gioia, in Puglia, joins the sack of 

Altamura, 228, 232 
GOETHE, on Neapolitan culture, 34 ; 

on the persecutions at Naples, 

54 ; cited, 3 
Golden Age, a brief, at Naples, 33, 

et seq. 
GORANI, G., cited, 9 ; on Maria 

Carolina, 16 

under Caracciolo at Procida, 221 ; 

executed, 221 
Granili, rumour that they are to 

be burned, 103 ; a " momentary 

asylum," 260, et seq. 

Member of the Confraternity of 

the Bianchi, 371 

sinated, 216; on the wrong side 

perhaps, 217 [note] 
GRENVILLE, LORD, disapproved of 

Hamilton's conduct, 305 

Emma Hart, 67 ; betrays his 

mistress, 68 

Granili) 261 
GUARDATI, ANTONIO, hapless young 

man of fashion, 44 

Granili) 267 

HACKERT, PHILIP, opinion of Fer- 

dinand IV., 3 ; of the political 
change, 54 

HAMILTON, LADY, antecedents of, 
67 ; goes to Naples, 68 ; character, 
68, 69 ; marries Sir William, 69 ; 
confidante of Maria Carolina, 69 ; 
adopts the royal Francophobia, 
66, 70; enchains Nelson, 72; 
political activity, 75 ; enmity 
against Gallo, 79 ; helps and 
shares the royal flight, 90, 94 
in her element, 155 ; writes from 
the Foudroyant to Mr. Greville, 
293; again, 337, 338, 339; mys- 
terious services, 338 ; makes lists 
of the prisoners, 344; sets the 
Court against Paget, 384 ; is 
" more than repaid," 395 

Ambassador at Naples, 67 ; falls 
in love with Emma Hart, 68; 
marries her, 69 ; lets her take 
his place, 75; letter to Ruffo on 
Nelson's disapproval of the capi- 
tulation, 286 ; helps to argue the 
matter, 286, 287 ; writes to assure 
Ruffo that Nelson " will not break 
the armistice," 296; probable 
originator of the trick, 300 ; letters 
to Acton from the Foudroyant, 
300, 301, 302; prejudiced against 
Ruffo, 302; despatch to Lord 
Grenville, 302, 303, 304; con- 
gratulatory letter to Ruffo, 305 ; 
next letter, 305 ; falsehood of 
despatch, 308 ; ignorant of Naples, 
311; characteristic letter, 326; 
uneasy, 333 

HAMILTONS, The, loaded with pre- 
sents, 395 

Hanging described, 350, 351, 352 

Ferdinand IV., 4 ; is charmed 
with the Santa Fede, 223 ; sneers 
at the patriots^ 224 ; unfair advo- 
cacy, 333 ; cited, 5, 77, 82, 88, 92 



102, 117, 120, 127, 167, 170, 251, 
275, 282, 340, 381 

Hostages, in St. Elmo, in imminent 
danger, 295, 296 

ILL-FEELING, notorious, between 
Caracciolo and the Tuscan and 
other adventurers, 329, 330 

Instructions of Ferdinand to Nelson 
on sailing for Naples, 309, 310, 31 1 

Ischia, Castle of, 257 

ITALINSKY, COUNT, Russian Envoy, 

Italy, "a soldier nation," 164 

JEAFFRESON, J. C., misstatement, 
64; cited, 68, 293, 313, 337, 355, 

JOSEPH II., of Austria, 5 ; at S. 

Martino, 9; a Freemason, 12; 

liberal ruler, 33 
Junta of State, corruption of, 358, 

360; "all ferocity," 359 

KAUNITZ, at S. Martino, 10 
KEITH, LORD, advice to Nelson, 312 
KNIGHT, CORNELIA, a glimpse of 

Ferdinand, 8 ; of Carolina, 16 ; of 

Caracciolo, 96 

LAGHEZZA, FRANCO, tutor of Ettore 
Carafa, 47 

LAL6, FRANCESCO, confidential ser- 
vant of the queen, 154 

La Mandra, shore at Ischia, 258 

LA MARRA, SCIPIO, at Avellino, 
237 ; arrests Caracciolo, 325 ; 
his reward, 394, 395 

LA TOUCHE, ADMIRAL, anchors at 
Naples, 48 

President of the Provisional 
Government, 124; a married 
monk, 125 

Lawyers, Proportion of, to popula- 
tion, 32, 33 

Lazzari, who, what, and how many, 
29; want to massacre French 
commissioners, 106; sack trans- 
ports, 1 06 ; take Castel Nuovo 
and the other three castles, 107 ; 
open the prisons, 108 ; disarm the 
National Guard, 108; massacre 
the Filomarino brothers, 1 16 ; their 
furious defence against the French, 
118; they sack the royal palace, 
121 ; retain stolen arms, 145, 156 ; 
conspire, 154; make attempts on 
St. Elmo, 157; are received into 
the Sala Patriottica, 247; attack 
the republicans in the rear at the 
battle of the Maddalena, 254 


Loreto, Holy House of, robbed by 
the French, 135 

LOVATTI, architect, 84 

SIGNORE, lieutenant of Ruffo in 
Salerno, 233 ; inspector for Avel- 
lino and Benevento, 359 

74; reassuring protestations, 160; 
at the miracle of S. Gennaro, 161 ; 
recalls Duhesmeand Olivier, 190; 
compliments Carafa, 194; recalls 
Broussier and retires, 201 ; at 
Torre Annunziata, 219 ; alarming 
proclamation, 243 ; held up to 
popular admiration, 245 ; reviews 
troops of the Republic, 245 ; re- 
proaches himself with Caracciolo's 
death, 336 

MACK, GENERAL, arrives at Naples, 
78 ; confides in the queen alone, 
8 1 ; retires on Capua, 87 ; takes 
refuge with Championnet, 105 ; 
ignominious exit from the scene, 
105 [note] 

MACKAU, French Ambassador at 
Naples, 17, 50 



Maddalena, Battle of the, 253, 254 ; 
Ponte della, taken by the French, 
121 ; headquarters of Ruffo, 260, 
261, 262 

MAMMONE, terror of Sora, 148, 389 

MANCINI, GREGORIO, "condemned 
in the name of the king," 357, 358 

MANN, HORACE, comment on Fer- 
dinand's deficiencies, 2 

by Thugut, 81 

Provisional Government, 124; 
letter to a bereaved father, 163 ; 
Minister of War, 202; orders 
attack on Procida, 220; inveighs 
against " English gold," 222 ; his 
invitation to the unemployed, 243 ; 
commander-in-chief, 248 ; not a 
general, 249 ; prevents the blow- 
ing-up of Castel Nuovo, 295 ; his 
trial, 347 

MARESCA, B., cited, 170, 218, 225, 

274, 330, 335. 340, 342, 37i 
MARIA CAROLINA, " excellently 
well bred," 2 ; marries Ferdinand, 
5 ; ambition and violent temper, 
5 ; fosters Ferdinand's idle tastes, 
1 1 ; her policy, 1 1 ; victory over 
Tanucci, 12; a Freemason, 12; 
propensity for favourites ; 15; 
described by Baron Alquier, 15, 
*7 397 I by Goran i, 16 ; by Miss 
Knight, 16; by General Dumouriez, 
17 ; by Sir John Moore, 18; pen- 
chant for foreigners, 18, 19; a 
patroness of culture, 33; panic 
at the French Revolution, 41 ; 
resolves on war, 42 ; on sup- 
pression of liberal thought, 42 ; 
her army of spies, 43 ; yields to 
La Touche, 48 ; vengeance on the 
11 Jacobins of Posilipo," 49 ; seizes 
papers at the French Embassy, 
50 ; creates revolutionists, 57 ; 
works upon the populace through 

the priests, 58 ; sudden resolve 
to begin the war, 66 ; delight at 
Aboukir, 66 ; the " Great Queen," 
77 ; makes a dash for war, trusting 
to do without the Emperor, 81 ; 
account of French "aggression," 
88; resolves on flight, 90; sup- 
posed complicity in the assassina- 
tion of Ferreri, 91, 92 ; flight from 
Naples, 94 ; probably responsible 
for the burning of the fleet, 100 ; 
straws that point this way, 102; 
her comment on the Filomarino 
massacre, 117; in her element, 
155; does not trust Ruffo, 171; 
nor Danero, 173; leaves Mesdames 
in the lurch, 186 ; would show no 
pity, 207; thinks Ruffo may be 
half a Jacobin, 209 ; affects to 
admire his wisdom, 209 ; bisogna 
mettere pietra, 210; letters to 
Ruffo, 21 1 ; hated, 219 [note]; 
incapable of gratitude, 237 ; tiger's 
claws, 251, 287; sides with the 
mob, as usual, 275 ; no notion of 
pardon, 281 ; pen in hand, 282 ; 
views for purgation of the king- 
dom, 283 ; appears to submit her 
judgment to Ruffo 's, 282, 283, 284 ; 
extravagant gratitude to Lady 
Hamilton, 315 ; no faith in Ruffo, 
320 ; " like a tiger," 321 ; fear lest 
Caracciolo escape, 322; suspicious 
of him, 335 ; characteristic view 
of Cirillo, 363; goes to Vienna, 
396 ; munificence at Ancona, 396 

MARIA-LUISA, of Naples, marries 
Ferdinand of Austria, Grand Duke 
of Tuscany, 41 
MARIA-TERESA, of Naples, marries 

Francis of Austria, 41 
MARIA THERESA, mother of Maria 

Carolina, 5 

MARIE ANTOINETTE, protectress of 
Freemasons, 12 



MARINELLI, DIOMEDE, his diary, 59 ; 
describes military preparations at 
Naples and San Germane, 59; 
laments burning of fleet, 100 ; 
describes state of Naples shortly 
afterwards, 112; sees through the 
queen's tricks, 155 

at Santo Stefano, 354; touching 
scene at his execution, 354, 359 


MARTINENGO, G. E., report on 

Neapolitan finance, 18 ; on the 

pirates, 20 
MASSA, GENERAL, Commandant of 

Castel Nuovo, 278 ; arranges capi- 
tulation, 278, 284, 285; reply to 

Ruffo's last suggestion, 290, 292 ; 

scarcely time to die, 346 ; bitter 

comments on the violation of the 

treaty, 347 

Altamura, 224 
MATERA, GENERAL, 165 ; commands 

republican cavalry, 248 ; given up 

by Mejean, 318 
Matera, nastily turns royalist, 225 ; 

headquarters of Ruffo, 227 ; joins 

in sack of Altamura, 228 
MAURI, MARCHESE, commandant at 

Baia, 373 ; imprisonment and 

execution, 373, 374 
MAZZINGHI, ABATE, tossed in a 

blanket at Portici, 8 

pupil of Caracciolo, 219; takes 

part in action at Procida, 221 ; 

eventual execution, 221 ; wounded 

and taken prisoner, 256 ; open 

letter to Caracciolo, 330 
MEJEAN, wants money as usual, 252 ; 

conduct at surrender of St. Elmo, 

3i8, 319 
Mesdames de France, Adelaide and 

Victoire, at Rome, 41 ; at Brindisi, 

1 86 ; their flight from Caserta, 
187 ; interview with Corbara, 187 ; 
die at Trieste, 188 

MICHELE IL PAZZO, capo-ldzzaro \ 
129 ; harangues the populace, 241 

MICHEROUX, ANTONIO, plenipoten- 
tiary, 169 ; a true royalist, 225 * 
describes "royalised" provinces, 
225, 226 ; negotiates with the 
castles, 277, 278, 279, 280; dis- 
approves of Ruffo's methods, 280, 
281 ; his Compendia, 291, 294, 296, 
297, 298, 347 ; carries out the 
capitulation, 299 ; a share in the 
spoil, 394 


protects the king's flight from 
Rome, 86 ; signs the armistice, 
1 08 

Minerva, Neapolitan frigate, 220 ; 
commanded by Thurn, 221 ; 
damaged in action at Procida, 
221 ; scene of Caracciolo's execu- 
tion, 326 

Minotaur, British ship, 219 
MINTO, COUNTESS OF, cited, 6, 8, 224 
by the mob, 108 ; sets up gallows, 
109 ; hints at terms with the 
French, no; his last stratagem, 
in ; Ruffo's view of his re- 
publicanism, 209 ; the queen's 
view, 210 

Monitore Repubblicano, journal of 
the Neapolitan Republic, 97 ; first 
number brought out by Eleonora 
Pimentel, 129; news in, 144, 
et seq. 
MONNIER, MARC, cited, 16 


under Caracciolo at Procida, 221 ; 

executed, 221 
MONTRONE, DUKE OF, at the Madda- 

lena, 253 
Montuoro, lays down arms to Carafa, 




MOORE, SIR JOHN, sketch of Maria 
Carolina, 18 ; views contrasted 
vvitli those of Nelson, 224 [note] 

MORGAN, LADY, recollections of 
Lady Hamilton, 339; of the 
Carafa, 373 

Hamilton Papers], cited, 79, 313, 


MOUNIER, GENERAL, in Abruzzo, 87 
Mysterious placards, 244 

Napoli Nobilissima, cited, 14 

Bishop of Vico Equense, con- 
demned, 349 ; hanged, 352 

Neapolitan Republic proclaimed, 
123, 129 

NELSON, on cost of ship-building at 
Naples, 20 ; arrives at Naples from 
Aboukir, 66, 71 ; hatred of the 
French, 70, 7 1 ; reception at Naples, 
71; "killed with kindness," 72; 
attracted by Lady Hamilton, 72 ; 
urges on the war, 73 ; perceives 
public corruption, 73; advice to 
Ferdinand, 74; hatred of Gallo, 
79 ; of Thugut, Ruffo, and Man- 
fredini, 80; complete reflection 
of the Court ideas, 80; deceived 
by the war party, 82 ; imagines 
the mob in Naples to be like the 
mob in Paris, 93 ; embarks the 
royal fugitives on the Vanguard, 
94.; not responsible for the burn- 
ing of the Neapolitan fleet, 100 ; 
demands a court-martial on Com- 
modore Campbell, 102; maxims 
for Troubridge at Procida, 206 ; 
"proper heads," 206; enjoys a 
capital joke, 217; recalls 
British ships from Procida, 220 ; 
objects to calling the republicans 
patriots, 224; arrives at Naples 
with the British fleet, 285 ; dis- 
approves of the capitulation, 286, 

287 ; prejudiced against Ruffo, 
287, 302, 311; ignorant of the 
situation, 287, 311, 312, 334, 340; 
calls the treaty infamoiis, 287; two 
master passions, 288; sends Ruffo 
his Declaration, 288 ; argues for 
two hours, 289; the Opinion, 289; 
sends in Declaration to the castles, 
294; suddenly changes his atti- 
tude, 296 ; question of his precise 
share in the trick, 306, 307, etseq. ; 
his own account incomplete and 
false, 307, 308 ; falsehood pos- 
sibly unconscious, 308 ; not strong 
in logic, 308 ; a possible explana- 
tion and acquittal, 308, 309 ; his 
ferocity, 309 ; his view of nations, 
309 ; nai've admiration for the 
king and queen, 309 ; exceeded 
his instructions, 309, 310 ; instance 
of the fact that he was primed, 
311, 312; the mere tool of the 
Sicilian Court, 312 ; faith in him- 
self, 313; odd morality, 313; can- 
not be acquitted at present, 314; 
his half-true defence, 315 ; another 
ambiguous note, 316; "like a 
pirate," 321 ; his part in Carac- 
ciolo's trial, 322, 324, 325, 327, 
33 33 1 J " tne narrow rule of 
law," 332; "doing good to mil- 
lions," 339, 381, 383 

NICOLAS, SIR N. H. [Despatches^ 
cited, 70, 71, 73, 79, 81, 92, 206, 
213, 214, 285, 288, 294, 306, 307, 
309, 312, 316, 328, 332, 339, 381 

Nisco, NICCOLA, anecdote of Fer- 
dinand II., 375 

NIZA, MARQUIS DI, commanding 
Portuguese squadron at Naples, 

Novi, MICHELANGELO, " condemned 
in the name of the king," 358 

OLIVIER, GENERAL, in Puglia, 190, 



Neapolitan laws, 27; cited, 19, 44 

PACIFICO, NICOLA, arrested, 326; 
condemned, 350; hanged, 352, 


PAGANO, MARIO, combats corrup- 
tion, 28 ; Professor of Criminal 
Law, 34 ; his Saggi Politici, 34 ; 
cited, 34; defence of first State 
prisoners, 52 ; arrested, 56 ; set 
free, 63 ; member of Provisional 
Government, 124, 125 ; draws up 
new constitution, 125 ; first public 
address, 126 ; is for going slowly, 
133 ; brought to trial, 348 ; 
Rodin6's recollections of him, 
348 ; an adept in fencing, 348 ; 
execution, 355 ; went ragged to 
the gallows, 356 ; supported pro- 
posal to recall the king, 363 

PAGET, SIR ARTHUR, on the queen's 
journey to Vienna, and the enmity 
between the queen and Thugut, 
80 ; his views contrasted with 
those of Nelson, 224 [note] ; suc- 
ceeds Hamilton at Palermo, 383 ; 
account of the state of the king- 
dom, 383, 384, 385, 386, 387 ; not 
so easy to move the king, 385 

state of the Two Sicilies, 387, 

PAGET, SIR AUG., cited, 18, 80, 
224, 305, 383, 386, 387, 388, 389 

PALERMO, EMANUELE, on the de- 
parture of the French, 246 ; cited, 
78, 136 

PALOMBA, NICOLA, "democratiser/' 
sent to Altamura, 224 

PALUMBO, RAFFAELE, cited, 62, 66, 
102, 154, 155, 217, 275, 320 

PANEDIGRANO, assassin and royalist 
leader of convicts, 1 80; in Resina, 


Carafa, in Pescara, 204 
PARSONS, G. S., cited, 329 
"Patriotic Legion 3 ' of Calabrese, 


Pensions to the faithful, 394, 395 
PEPE, FLORESTANO, wounded before 

Andria, 197 

Schipani, 190, 250, 256; "what 

they might have done," 249 ; 

describes the Granili, 260, 261, 

266, 267 ; always in the van of the 

struggle with the Bourbon, 396 ; 

cited, 12, 396 

Ruffo, 176 
Pescara, siege of, 365, 366, 367 ; 

disastrous capitulation, 368 
PETROMASI, D., cited, 182, 237 
PETTIGREW, J., cited, 100, 213 
Picerno, 235 

Tuscany, 5 ; a liberal ruler, 33 ; 

becomes emperor, 41 
PIGLIACELLI, GIORGIO, arrest, 290 ; 

execution, 357 


of Strongoli, commands republican 
cavalry, 248 


left regent of Naples, 97; in- 
capacity, 98 ; temporises with the 
" City," 98 ; obstructive policy, 99 ; 
refuses arms to the National Guard, 
99 ; destroys the ammunition, 99 ; 
burns the gunboats, 100; simple 
plan for meeting a French in- 
vasion, 104; truce with Cham- 
pionnet, 105 ; foolish instructions 
to commander of Castel Nuovo, 
107 ; probable explanation, 107 ; 
flight to Palermo, 109; imprisoned, 
109 ; in custody under Caracciolo, 





CESCO, cited, 85, 91 
writes Court poetry, 38 ; set free 
by the lazzari, 108 ; goes up to 
St. Elmo, 112; brings out the 
Monitore } 129 ; faith in education, 
129, 130, 131, etc. ; her repub- 
licanism, 141; her humanity, 145; 
her courage, 149; on the con- 
spiracy of the Baccher, 153, 159; 
condemns lotteries, 159; on the 
miracle of S. Gennaro, 162 ; the 
courage of despair, 164, 165 ; 
indignation with Castelcicala and 
his " few scoundrelly heads," 206 ; 
arrested by the mob, 273 ; signs 
twice the obbliganza, 349 ; con- 
demned by Speciale, 349 ; to be 
hanged, 350; execution, 351, 353 
PIOZZI, MRS., opinion of Ferdi- 
nand IV., 3 

Pius VI., abets Ferdinand in in- 
fringing the peace with France, 
6 1 ; carried prisoner to France, 
62 ; patron of Ruffo, 166 
Placid benevolence, 247 
PONTARI, BERNARDO, at Vigliena, 


Ponte della Maddalena, taken by 
the French, 121 ; battle of the, 
2 53 2 54 J headquarters of Ruffo, 
260, 261, 262 

DUCHESSA DI, 115; helps with 
the earthwork at the Mole, 220 ; 
exiled, 360 

Populace, Attitude of, towards the 
Republic, 128, 129; we must 
educate them, 130, 131, et seq. 
flattered by the republicans, 151 
know best what is going on, 244 
"murderous and tipsy," seen in 
their true colours by De Nicola, 

Porta Capuana, taken by the French, 
after memorable defence by the 
lazzari, 121 

Portici, scene of Schipani's last 
battle, 257 

Potenza, 235 

Prisoners, political, their condition 
after the restoration, 392, 393, 
ct seq. 

PRONIO, brigand leader in Abruzzo, 
144; not such a bad brigand as 
some, 149; besieges Pescara, 250, 
365, 366, 367 ; invites Carafa to 
Francavilla, 368 ; takes him 
prisoner, 369 ; would fain have 
saved him, 369, 371 ; prefers 
royal favour, 370, 371 ; gets it, 

37L 394 

Provisional Government, appointed 
by Championnet, 124; members 
of, 124, 125; their character, 126; 
abolishes titles, 136; members 
renounce more or less of their 
salary, 140; their unwisdom, 151 

Puglia, granary of Naples, 195 

RACIOPPI, GIACOMO, on republican 

reprisals at Altamura, 229, 230; 

verdict on the Nelson episode at 

Naples, 321 ; cited, 134 
Republicans, no faith in Ruffo, 290; 

trust the "simple word" of 

Micheroux, 296, 297 ; embark for 

Toulon, 298 
RICCIARDI, G., on the persecutions 

in Naples, 44, 45 ; cited, 273 
Riots in streets and prisons, 106 
Rimsta Novissima, cited, 78, 136, 

154, 155 


general" of the mob, 109, in ; 
Ruffo's view of his republicanism, 
209; the queen's view, 210; 
deserts the Republic at the last 
moment, 252 
RODIN6, GAETANO, description of 



street scenes, 271, 272; cited, 

250, 326, 348 

Rome, Profligate society in, 166, 167 
ROSE, Rx. HON. GEORGE, cited, 288, 

305, 310, 324 
ROSELLI, CAPTAIN, " per la patria," 

193. 194 

Royalist unions, 154 

Monitore, 152; not above base 
methods, 155; family and ante- 
cedents, 1 66, et seq. ; treasurer 
to Pius VI., 166; shows himself 
a man, 168 ; character, 169; a 
politician, 169; not over-scrupu- 
lous, 170 ; sets out to lead the 
counter-revolution, 170 ; full 
powers, 171 ; takes life philo- 
sophically, 174 ; encyclical letter, 
175; contrives to provision his 
troops, 177; experiment at Gioia, 
177 ; saves the silk industry at 
Monteleone, 178 ; declines con- 
victs, 179; satisfaction at sack of 
Catanzaro, 180; makes an ex- 
ample at Cotrone, 182; pleased 
with sack of Cosenza, 183 ; learns 
a lesson at Cotrone, 183; joins 
forces with Russians and Turks, 
1 88; brigand sentiments, 200; 
strongly averse to royal policy of 
vengeance, 208, et seq. ; states- 
manship, 209 ; sends out spies 
from Matera, 227; attacks Alta- 
mura, 227 ; triumphal entry, 228 ; 
arrests one hundred and thirty 
pardoned Altamurani, 233 ; re- 
ceives forerunner of Turkish 
force, 234 ; in sight of Naples, 251 ; 
at the Ponte della Maddalena, 
260, 262, 268; proclamations, 
269 ; accused of clemency, 274 ; 
complains to Acton of his 
position at Naples, 274, 279, 
280; his wretched situation, 
276 ; glad to come to terms, 

277 ; jealous of Micheroux, 279, 
281 ; sick of anarchy, 281 ; in- 
terview with Nelson on the 
Foudroyant } 286, 287 ; against a 
wall, 288 ; refuses to send in the 
Declaration to the castles, 288 ; 
or to help Nelson in an attack, 
289 ; writes to Massa, 289, 290 ; 
a last effort, 292 ; mischief brew- 
ing, 292 ; called a Jacobin, 293 ; 
warns the garrisons that he can 
protect the castles no longer, 294 ; 
hears a false alarm from Capua, 
295 ; and resigns his responsibility 
to Nelson, 295 ; suspects treachery, 
297 ; deputes Micheroux to ar- 
range evacuation of the castles, 
298 ; all honour to his statesman- 
ship, 314; was he deceived, 315 ; 
probably not completely, 317 ; not 
prepared to risk everything, 318, 
319 ; proposes to resign, 319 ; his 
cynicism, 320 ; where he fell short, 
320, 321 ; not trusted by Carac- 
ciolo, 328 ; a home truth to Acton 
on the burning of the fleet, 335 ; 
chooses his reward, 394 

RUFFO, FRANCESCO, sent to Palermo, 

brings tidings through the enemy's 
lines to Championnet, 1 1 8 ; held 
up to honour in the Monitore t 1 19 ; 
costs him his life and that of his 
wife, 119 

Ruoti, 235 

RUSCA, GENERAL, in Abruzzo, 87 

Russian commander, indignant at 
proposed infraction of capitula- 
tion, 287 

Russo, VINCENZO, typical republican, 
139 ; cast out by the Church, 139 ; 
proposals in council, 140; his 
patriotism, 242; prisoner in the 
Granili, 261 ; engaged to a French 
lady, 273 



Ruvo, feudal town of the Carafa, 195 

SACCHINELLI, D., does not always 
persuade his reader, 291, 297, 298 ; 
corroborated by Lady Hamilton, 
295 ; inexact, 297 ; second edition 
of his book, 317; does not prove 
Ruffo's case, 317, 325 ; his pension, 
395; cited, 168, 171, 176, 184, 227, 
259, 260, 278, 286, 289, 290, 293, 
296, 297, 299, 305, 325, 327 
SAINT- AMAND, IMBERT DE, cited, 17, 

52, 62, 76, 397 

SALANDRA, DUKE OF, captain of 
royalist union, 154; captain- 
general, 295, 311 

Sala Patriottica, " those scoundrels," 
362 ; opposed the recalling of the 
king, 363 
SAMBUCA, successor of Tanucci, his 

salary, 18 

creature, 158 

Luisa, 273 

SANFELICE, LUISA, reveals the con- 
spiracy of the Baccher, 153, 157, 
158; her husband and antece- 
dents, 158, 159; arrested by the 
mob, 273 ; trial and condemnation, 
376 ; reprieve, 377 ; twice in 
Cagpella, 378 ; sent to Palermo, 
379 ; and back to Naples to die, 
379 ; the last victim, 379, 380 
San Lorenzo, Debates of the city 

deputies at, 103 

San Martino, Certosa, scene of a 

royal picnic, 9 ; of a republican 

ball in the prior's apartment, 123; 

of a republican encampment, 290 

San Severo, taken by Duhesme and 

Carafa, 194 

SANSONE, A., cited, 49, 86, 92, 118, 
153. I7i, 176, 199, 214, 217, 340, 
352, 37i, 373, 374, 378, 389, 395 
Santa Fede, first recruits, 175; its 

elements, 176 ; begins to melt 
away, 184 ; breaking up and 
wandering homewards, 388 
Santa Maria la Catena, 341 
Sant' Elmo, taken by the patriots, 
111,112; signals to the advancing 
French, 117 

to become a republican, 189; 
lieutenant of Ruffo, 234 ; ravages 
Basilicata, 235; takes Tito, 236; 
arrests the Cafarelli, 236; his 
reward, 394 

sets out for Calabria, 189; foolish 
swagger, 190; Botta's remarks, 
190 ; wins the last victory of the 
Republic, 222 ; ordered to oppose 
Sciarpa's advance, 248 ; near 
Vesuvius, 250 ; vainly tries to 
reach Naples, 256; defeated at 
Portici, 257 ; taken, 257 ; hanged, 

Sea-horse, British ship, 220 
Sebeto, The, 252 

SERAFINI, LIBERO, President of the 
Municipality of Agnone, 237 ; 
capture and death, 237, 238, 239 ; 
his family, 239 ; unforgotten, 239, 

SERIO, LUIGI, combats corruption, 
28; the blind poet, 255, 256; 
killed at the Maddalena, 255; 
reproves Rodind, 256 
rested, 47 ; set free, 63 ; reply to 
Eleonora Pimentel, 142 ; arrested 
again, 326; condemned, 349; 
executed, 352 

SETTEMBRINI, LUIGI, his father's 
recollections of Filippo Marini, 
354; of the Santa Fede at Naples, 

Carafa in Pescara, 203, 204 ; 
turns traitor, 366, 367, 368 



Sicily, "on est constitutionnel," 127 

SILVAGNI, DAVID, cited, 83, 167 

SOUTHEY, R., cited, 382 

SPAN6, GENERAL, 165 ; despatched 
towards Puglia, 248 ; hanged at 
Ischia, 258 

SPECIALE, VINCENZO, a judge after 
the royal heart, 207 ; a trying 
time, 212, 213; what's to be 
done with an innocent man, 214; 
"hints at a man-of-war" and an 
English hangman, 214 ; condemns 
Eleonora Pimentel, 349 

SPINAZZOLA, V., cited, 57, no, 123, 

STORMONT, LORD, on Ferdinand's 

want of education, 2 
Strada consolare, 185 
Strada nuova, 185 
Street scenes during the terror, 268, 

269, 270, 271, 272 
STUART, GENERAL, takes command 

at Messina, 173 

Supper at Posilipo, The, 48, 49 
Surrender, Unconditional, never 

contemplated by the patriots, 295 
Swiftsure, British ship, 219 

TANUCCI, BERNARDO, 1 1 ; his fall, 
12 ; highest salary, 18 

Terms of Pignatelli's truce with 
Championnet, 105 

THIEBAULT, GENERAL, at the miracle 
of S. Gennaro, 161 ; his own 
account of it, 162 

THUGUT, BARON, hated by Maria 
Carolina, 80 ; and by Nelson, 80 

THURN, CONTE DI, at Baia, 156; 
commands the Minerva at Pro- 
cida, 207, 221 ; report on the trial 
and condemnation of Caracciolo, 
327; a human trait, 331; his 
safe-conducts to the garrison of 
Baia, 373 ; shares in the spoil, 

394, 395 
Tito, 235 

of Ruffo in Salerno, 233 

TOSCANI, ANTONIO, commander at 
Vigliena, fires the powder, 255 

Trani, attacked by Broussier and 
Carafa, 200 ; taken and destroyed, 

Tree of liberty, first planted at 
Naples, 123; supplanted by the 
cross, 130, 131 ; in the provinces, 
134; robbery under its shadow, 
135 ; looked upon as magic, i57 

of Eleonora Pimentel, 350 

to for an English officer to drill 
convicts, 1 80; at Procida, 205; 
does not admire Speciale, 212 ; 
finds the trials curious ', 213 ; 
disgust at Speciale's hints, 214; 
the "villains are very rich," 215 ; 
sets prisoners free, 215 ; " a jolly 
fellow," 217 ; sent by Nelson to 
Ruffo, 286, 288, 296, 297 ; letters 
from Naples to Nelson at Palermo, 
382 ; curses the day he served 
the Neapolitan Government, 383 ; 
a share in the spoil, 394 

TROUVE, Secretary of Legation at 
Naples, on the arrests, 61 

Turkish commander, indignant at 
proposed infraction of capitula- 
tion, 287 

ULLOA, P., cited, 34 

VACCARO, the brothers Michele and 
Girolamo, 235 ; die fighting at 
Picerno, 235 

anarchy in Basilicata, 390, 391 

VANNI, 43, 52 ; his disgrace, 63 

VECCHIONI, royalist officer, mes- 
senger of Ruffo to Altamura, 229 ; 
shot by the republicans and 
revives, 230 



VERNEAU, LUIGI, hanged for nothing, 


de France 
Vigliena, 255 ; garrisoned by Cala- 

brese students, 255 ; blown up by 

the garrison, 255 ; an example, 277 
VILLARI, PASQUALE, cited, 331 

"jolly fellow," 217 

WADE, MATTHEW, letters to Lady 

Hamilton, 350 

WIRTZ, GENERAL, in command of 
the republicans at the bridge, 
253 ; killed there, 254 

" Won for religion and the Throne," 

YOUNG, ARTHUR, on feudal France, 

ZURLO, CARDINAL, Archbishop of 
Naples, in 

ZURLO, GIUSEPPE, report on Crown 
lands in Calabria, 29 ; barely 
escapes assassination, 108, 114 

Print** by H **//, Watson <$> Viney, Let., London and Ayltsbury. 


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